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TOKYO – The Canadian Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team lost its opening game on Wednesday as Spain took the matchup by a score of 78 – 41.

The Spanish side took an early lead in the first quarter, and they never looked back. Canada trailed at the end of every quarter, and the team couldn’t seem to right the ship.

Canada coach Matteo Feriani says the Spanish side was a hard, intense squad.

“We just have to be more hungry, more angry, we need to have more desire. When we have that desire, we showed it. But, we need to really badly want it,” says Feriani.

Local athlete and team captain Bo Hedges was held in check. In over 16 minutes of playing time, he was held pointless, tallied one defensive rebound, traded a steal and a turnover, and assisted one basket.

Nikola Goncin was the team leader in points, scoring 15 for Canada in the losing effort.

Asier Garcia Pereiro led the way for Spain, scoring 23 points for the game-high.

Canada was outshot from the field, landing only 27 per cent of its field goals, while Spain shot 46 per cent from the field.

Spain made the most of its fast-break opportunities and second chances, collecting 20 points compared to Canada’s 5.

Spain now has two wins and no losses in Group A, putting them safely in first place.

Hedges and the rest of the Canadian team will get a chance to claw back in the Group A standings when they take on the one win, one loss Turkey in the preliminary round.

The game starts at 7:15 p.m. MST Thursday.

To watch online, go to the CBC player page.

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