Team Canada Closing In On First-Ever Nike Global Challenge Championship
Team Canada defeated China 88-64 to move to the championship game of the 2012 Nike Global Challenge in Washington DC.
Coach Roy Rana sat out his big dogs (Andrew Wiggins, Trey Lyles and Xavier Rathan-Mayes} in the final game, opening up the opportunity for Kevin Zabo (26 points, 5 assists), Marial Shayok (23 points, 6 steals) and Duane Notice (17 points, 4 assists) to steal the show.
Canada defeated a stubborn Brazil squad 75-71 in the opening game of the tournament and improved to 2-0 by pulling out a gutsy 101-96 overtime victory over Team USA East.
The Canadians will now face team USA Midwest in the Championship game.
USA Midwest reached the finals by getting by USA West 87-77, Lithuania 101-66 and blazing past Puerto Rico 85-59 in their third and final game.
Standing in the way of Canada's first Global Championship is a pair of versatile forwards, 6'7 Nick King (Memphis, Tennessee) and 6'6 Rondae Jefferson (Chester, PA). King is averaging 16.6 points, 8 rebounds while Jefferson is not far behind with 12 points and 9 rebounds.
Canada continues to get big performances from Trey Lyles (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), a 6'7 forward who isn't showing any signs of slowing down after a stellar showing at the U19 World Championships. Lyles opened-up the tournament with two monster double-double, 27 points and 11 rebounds against Brazil and 15 points and 11 against USA East.
Andrew Wiggins struggled with his jump-shot in the opening game, going 0-5 from three's and only 3-of-10 from the floor, but rebounded nicely against USA East, putting up a game-high 23 points and 7 rebounds.
Canada has come close to winning the event in recent years, along the way we have seen Myck Kabongo, Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Khem Birch and Kyle Witjer get so close but no 'ship, today the stage is set for Andrew Wiggins to silence all critics. Rise Wiggins, Rise Wiggins.