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Pan Am Games: What you need to know for today

07/17/2015 12:12 EDT | Updated 07/16/2016 05:59 EDT
Day 14 at the Pan Am Games will feature crucial semifinal matchups for Canada in men's basketball and volleyball and women's softball. Meanwhile, star Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse will go for another gold in the men's 200-metre final. 

Here's what you need to know for Friday:

1. Border battle in basketball 

Canada's men's basketball team will look for its first appearance in a Pan Am gold-medal game when it takes on the United States at 6 p.m. ET. Canada, which owns a 3-0 record entering the semifinal, will take on a 2-1 American team that lost to Brazil to close out the preliminary round.

The Canadians are averaging a tournament-best 96 points per game but will have to improve on the defensive side of the ball if they hope to advance, having allowed an average of 82 points against per contest.

Brazil will battle it out with the Dominican Republic in the other semifinal. 

2. De Grasse sprints for another gold 

Star Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse, who has already won a gold in the men's 100 metres, will try to add another Friday when he competes in the final of the 200m. The 20-year-old qualified first in his preliminary heat and third in his semifinal on Thursday.

De Grasse, the reigning NCAA champion in the 100m and 200m, currently holds a Canadian record time of 20.03 in the 200m. However, De Grasse will be in tough to win gold Friday. Jamaica's Roberto Dwyer, who set a Pan Am record time of 19.80 seconds in the semifinals, will be a sprinter to contend with. The runners will go for gold at 5:55 p.m. ET. 

3. Softball semi

Canada will have a chance to avenge a preliminary loss to the U.S. in women's softball by taking them on in the semifinals. Canada got crushed by the Americans 7-0, but didn't lose another game, posting a 4-1 record. The Americans are a perfect 5-0 entering the medal round. The U.S. has only allowed four runs in its five games.

The winner of the matchup, which takes place at 7 p.m. ET at Ajax Pan Am Ballpark, will automatically earn a berth in the grand final on Saturday. The loser of the tilt will get another chance to advance to the grand final by playing the winner of other semifinal, which pits Brazil against Puerto Rico.

The U.S. has won all but one gold in women's softball competition at the Pan Ams. Canada is the only other country to win gold. 

4. Do-or-die in volleyball 

Canada's men's volleyball team will also look for a spot in the gold-medal match, taking on Argentina in the semis at 7 p.m. ET. The Canadians enter the medal round with a perfect 3-0 record, including a thrilling five-set comeback victory over the U.S. Argentina enters the semifinal with a 2-1 record.

The Canadians have won nine of 12 sets in the tournament thus far, while Argentina has won six out of 10. Brazil will take on Puerto Rico in the other semi. 

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