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FINA World Championships: Canada falls to Montenegro in pre-quarterfinals

Barcelona, July 28, 2013 (Sportcom) – The Canadian water polo team watched their tourney fall by the wayside, Sunday, at the FINA World Championships taking place in Barcelona, Spain, as they fell to the Montenegrin squad by a score of 12-4.

“They are a really experienced team, the Montenegrins, a very strong one,” said captain Kevin Graham. “Physically we had some issue handling some of their bigger players. They showed a lot of speed too, and really punished us with their counterattack when we rushed some passes on offense.”

“It’s a hard loss to swallow because we really had intentions of going far in this tournament, assistant coach Brian Parillo admitted. Montenegro’s size and experience were what put them over the top today.”

Alex Beslin’s men played their opponents tough early on, so much so that it took seven minutes to see the first goal of the match, scored by Team Montenegro. Repentigny-native Nicolas Constantin-Bicari then tied the score up just seconds later. Montenegro went back up a goal at the end of the quarter, after scoring with a man up.

Despite a few spectacular saves by Canadian goalie Robin Randall, the Montenegrins would go on to pad their lead in the second quarter, adding three unanswered goals.

The lead remained the same after the third quarter, with both teams scoring three goals apiece. The Canadian goals were netted by Kevin Graham and Constantin Kudaba, who scored twice.

The fourth quarter belonged to the Montenegrins, who found the back of the net on four occasions, and completely locked things down defensively.

Jared McElroy, John Conway, Olivier Vikalo, Scott Robinson, Alec Taschereau, Justin Boyd, Devon Diggle, Luka Gasic and Ivan Marcisin made up the rest of the Canadian squad.

The men’s national team will now take a short time off before resuming training.

“On the bright side, we kept ourselves in the game for three quarters and we’ve shown that we can implement changes quickly and play a really effective defense when we are all focused and working together,” Graham said. “But there are clearly things to learn from this result, both mentally, like not losing our team tactics in the middle of the game and offensively, improving our ability to move the ball around and get better at finishing,” he said.

“Our squad is still quite young, and will gain the experience needed by simply competing more and more in tournaments like the one this weekend,” Parillo concluded.

Monday, the women’s team will take on Russia in the quarterfinals at 3:30 p.m. local time in Barcelona.



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