LONDON (Olympics) - Canada are back in the Olympic Basketball Tournament for Women for the first time since 2000 and they came very close to making their return a remarkable one.
Allison McNeill's charges led for much of the way against Russia and were up by as many as 12 at one point. That was until a 10-0 run by the European champions in the fourth quarter swung the momentum in their favour for a 58-53 win.
Forward Kim Smith was a big reason why the Canadians found themselves in a position to score a major upset as she hit five of seven three-pointers on her way to a game-high 20 points.
While the final result was a letdown, the small forward is confident that her team can bounce back from it.
"We didn't talk well enough defensively and we gave up two transition threes that were wide open and it was all communication and it's something that we're good at and that's why it's going to hurt more," Smith said of what decided the game.
"Really we're upset and disappointed with ourselves because we feel like we started to let it slip away with our defense which is a staple for us and which is how we win games and so to not execute defensively down the stretch is a little disappointing.
"We'll debrief this, we'll talk about it and then as soon as we get back to the village this one is over. It's a long tournament, we still have four more games."
Smith is in no doubt that Canada can bounce back and points to the team's experience of having had to do so earlier in the summer at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women (OQTW) in Ankara, Turkey.
"The good thing is that in Turkey we had to get over a loss a lot faster than this one. We're fully confident we can do that," she argued.
The Canadians lost to France and Croatia in the Turkish capital last month but responded well by beating Argentina and Japan to grab the last Olympic berth on offer.
"We feel we can compete with anybody," Smith went on.
"We knew coming in that we could fight and have a game with them (Russia). We're good enough to be here."
While it's all business on the court, the 28-year-old sharp shooter also knows this experience is one to soak up and cherish for years to come.
"It's really been a dream come true. We're trying to relish every moment and really enjoying ourselves," she smiled.
"The Opening Ceremony was amazing. We walked in and kind of walked back out so we could get to bed and be ready for this game."