The second week of the National Basketball of League Canadian (NBLC) featured two exciting overtime games, unexpected victories and a huge splash by a Canadian guard. Let the second edition of the BasketballBuzz NBL Canada Power Rankings roll.
#1 London Lightning – (4-1) (LW: 1)
The Lightning finally dropped their first game in franchise history as the winless St. John Mill Rats came to London and out-hustled Michael Ray Richardson squad and walked away with a surprising 96-86 victory. The Lightning also came from behind to beat the Quebec Kebs 102-94 in thrilling overtime game behind a loud and raucous home crowd.
Upcoming Games: Quebec Kebs, Oshawa Power X 2
#2 Oshawa Power – (2-1) (LW: 2)
The Power were idle this week, and maintain the #2 spot. We’re about to find out a little more about the Power this week as they open-up a brutal four-game schedule including two games against the Lightning.
Upcoming Games: Saint John Mill Rats, Quebec Kebs, London Lightning X 2
#3 Halifax Rainmen – (2-2) (LW: 5)
A 2-0 week has the Rainmen on the rise as they climb two spots to #3. Rainmen continue to make a big splash by acquiring NBA talent as Orien Greene (Boston Celtics, Nets) joined the club, but it was VanCity’s own Joey Haywood (St.Mary’s Huskies) who is stealing the show, earning him player-of-week honours.
Upcoming Games: Saint John Mill Rats
#4 Summerside Storm – (3-1) (LW: 3)
The Storm pulled a 108-107 miracle victory against the St. John Mill Rats in OT and went toe-to-toe with the Rainmen to close out the week with a 1-1 record.
Upcoming Games: Saint John Mill Rats, Moncton Miracles. Quebec Kebs
#5 Quebec Kebs – (3-3) (LW: 4)
Dropped another winnable game against the London Lightning in overtime and just got past the winless Moncton Miracles 98-94. Canadian Yannick Anzuluni had his best outing of the year with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Upcoming Games: Oshawa Power, London Lightning, Summerside Storm
#6 Saint John Mill Rats (1-3) (LW: 6)
The Mill Rats earned lost a heart-breaker in overtime against the Summerside Storm but regrouped and pulled off the unexpected, by defeating the Lightning on the road.
Upcoming Games: Oshawa Power, Summerside Storm, Halifax Rainmen
#7 Moncton Miracles (0-4) (LW: 7)
Blame the schedule makers, the Miracles will play their first home this week, however we’re not sure that’s going to cure their league low 91.1 points per game. They are the only team that has yet to crack the century mark.
Triano steps aside as Canadian national team coach
Jay Triano has officially stepped down as the head coach of Canada’s senior men’s national team.
Canada Basketball made the announcement this morning, confirming media reports that circulated on Sunday.
“I can’t thank Jay enough for all he has done for basketball in Canada,” said Glen Grunwald, president and CEO of Canada Basketball, in a statement.
“As both a coach and player, Jay is a Canadian icon and has played a major role in the development of basketball within our country and we will forever be grateful for his contributions.
“After speaking with Jay, I’m hopeful we can find a role where he can continue to contribute to Canada Basketball in the future.”
Triano is the first Canadian-born and Canadian-trained coach to work in the NBA, starting as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors in 2002 and later promoted to head coach.
He is currently the lead assistant coach with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
As head coach of Canada’s national team from 1998 to 2004, Triano led the team to a seventh-place finish at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia.
Canada has not returned to the Olympics since then, but it figures to be a contender to play at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
Triano returned as head coach in 2012, guiding the club to a pair of victories during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.
As a player, Triano served with Canada’s national team from 1977 to 1988 and was team captain for the final seven years of his tenure.
He was elected to the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Ryerson University head coach Roy Rana is among three other candidates being granted interviews to replace Triano, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.
The other candidates are Gord Herbert, who played for Canada at the 1984 Olympics; and Ettore Messina, an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs.
A final decision is expected by March 31.
Multiple reports say Triano cited “personal reasons” for taking his name out of the running, but he did not elaborate.
Team Canada’s next major test will be the 2019 FIBA World Cup, starting Aug. 31 in China.
Triano steps aside at a high point in Canadian basketball, with dozens of players in the NBA and at elite NCAA schools, including Barrett’s son R.J. Barrett, a Duke University standout who is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Canada draws Group of Death 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup
Canada’s path to a 2019 FIBA basketball World Cup medal and hopes of a 2020 Olympic berth took a serious blow prior to the start of the games as No. 23 Team Canada was drawn into the group of death — alongside global powerhouses No. 6 Lithuania, No. 11 Australia, and No. 37 Senegal.
For Canada to have a shot at getting to the podium they will have to finish in the top two spots of Group H to advance to second round of the tournament — where the top 16 teams will be split into four new groups (Groups I, J, K, L). If it reaches that stage Team Canada will once again have to finish in the top two to advance to the quarter-finals.
Canada’s road to the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics is a complex and tough process — given FIBA’s decision to make the World Cup apart of the qualification process. Seven spots are currently up for grabs at FIBA’s flagship event and with hosts Japan earning an automatic entry the room for error is minuscule.
To reach the Olympics, Canada will have to finish as one of the top two teams from the seven team America’s region that features the world’s number one squad in the United States of America alongside traditional mainstays Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Venezula and Puerto Rico.
If Canada is unable to secure a spot as one of the two top America’s region teams, they will hope to be amongst the top 16 teams at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup where they will be granted automatic qualification to a last chance tournament taking place next summer at a yet to be determined locations. If unable to finish in the top 16, Canada’s last hope would be one of the last eight countries that FIBA would invite for one of the last-chance qualifier tournaments.
Therefore, if Canada has any hopes of qualifying for the 12-team 2020 Summer Olympics via the World Cup they will need to advance from Group H one as top two teams, failure to advance in the premilinary round will automatically put Canada’s hopes at the mercy FIBA via the invitation tournament only.
Should Canada reach the second-round they will be placed in the newly formed Group L, alongside Group G winner and runner-up — potentially setting up another group of death with No. 3 France, No. 11 Germany, No. 11 Australia or No. 6 Lithuania.
To make matters worse for the Canadians, they have been pooled on the same half of the draw as the United States — which would mean a potential quarter-finals match-up between the two neighbouring nations, if Canada can somehow get there.
If the Canadians can reach the quarter-finals there is a good chance they alongside the USA would be last two standing Americas teams — thus earning automatic berth to Tokyo 2020.
As evident, by the World Cup draw and given FIBA’s recent changes it’s clearly going to be a tough road for the Canadians to fullfill their 2020 vision of becoming a global basketball powerhouse.
Canada opens up the World Cup against Australia on Saturday August 31st and will take on Lithuania on two days rest on Monday September 2nd beforing concluding Group H action against Senegal on Wednesday September 4th, 2019. All of Canada’s preliminary round games will be played in Dongguan, China
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