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CUIABÁ (2009 FIBA Americas Championship for Women) – Canada survived in overtime against Cuba on Sunday to capture the bronze medal at the FIBA Americas Championship for Women.

The 69-59 triumph also clinched a spot for the Canadians at the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women in the Czech Republic.

"We have incredible chemistry, and I don't think I've worked with a group that deserves it more," Canada coach Allison McNeill said.

“We had different people step up at different times and I'm just really proud of them."

In a thrilling finish, the Canadians’ Chelsea Aubry made a three-pointer to give her team a 48-45 lead with less than three seconds remaining.

Cuba called timeout and when play resumed, they inbounded the ball from midcourt to Yulizeny Soria who had stepped outside the three-point arc.

Despite being closely guarded, the left-handed shooting Soria buried the three-ball to force the extra period.

Cuba then went ice cold from the floor.

Neither side, in fact, scored again until Canada’s Kaela Chapdelaine drilled a three-pointer with 2:49 left in overtime.

That shot put Canada in front for good.

Teresa Gabriele had 15 points for Canada while Chapdelaine and Jordan Adams poured in 13 apiece.

Basketball is on a high in Canada because the men also qualified for the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

"Leo (Rautins, Men's Head Coach) has been very supportive. When you love a sport like all of our staff do, then you want the sport to be great in your country, not just for your team,” McNeill said.

“There is real support at all levels. I got e-mails from Cadet and Junior National Team coaches and Leo. It's good to see everybody doing well."

The game took place 24 hours after Canada’s 63-53 defeat to Argentina in the FIBA Americas Championship for Women Semi-Finals.

Suchitel Avila finished with 13 points for Cuba, whose failure to miss the FIBA World Championship for Women is the second big miss in as many years for the national team.

The Cubans lost to Brazil in the final game of last year’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women in Madrid.


Final Results
3rd Place
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