Czech captain Tomas Satoransky scored with 1.4 seconds left to seal the victory for the Czechs, who will now face Greece or Turkey in Sunday’s final.
The Canadiens were down nine points with 44 seconds left in regulation, but came back strong, with an Andrew Wiggins basket that tied the score at 94-94 with less than three seconds left, forcing overtime. .
Wiggins, an NBA Golden State Warriors forward, led Canada with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Andrew Wiggins with the clutch 3 off to force overtime. Absolutely amazing
– Tim and his friends (@timandfriends) July 3, 2021
The fiery Czechs led from start to finish, led by forward Blake Schilb who scored 31 points.
Canada reached the semi-finals with victories over Greece (97-91) and China (107-79) in group action in the must-see tournament, but now must wait until the Paris Games in 2024 to have another chance to win Olympic glory.
About 800 loud pro-Canadian supporters were in the building on Saturday to cheer, stomp and cheer on Canadians following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. The smell of freshly popped popcorn hung around the arena.
Eight NBA players including Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans), Trey Lyles (San Antonio), Mychal Mulder (Golden State), Captain Cory Joseph (Detroit), Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma), Wiggins (Golden State) RJ Barrett (New York) and Dwight Powell (Dallas) are among the roster, widely regarded as Canada’s most talented men’s basketball team in history for this week’s home tournament.
The 12-member roster is completed by Trae Bell-Haynes, Anthony Bennett, Aaron Doornekamp and Andrew Nicholson.
Canada, ranked 21st in the world, was in Group A with Greece and China for the six-team tournament which began on Tuesday. Group B included Uruguay, Turkey and the Czech Republic.
China and Uruguay were eliminated earlier this week.
Three more last-ditch tournaments are taking place this week in Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia to determine the final Olympic sports.
The fourth-ranked Canadian women’s team won their third consecutive Olympic spot last February.