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Canada 21st at 2019 FIBA World Cup reach Olympic Qualifier with 82-76 loss to Germany



Canada wrapped up the 2019 FIBA World Cup with a tough 82-76 loss to Germany to claim 21st-place and earn an automatic invitation to one of four, six team Olympic Qualifying tournaments in June 2020.

Playing in their fifth-game of the new 32-team World Cup format, the Canadians swung momentum to their side after Germany’s Paul Zipper was ejected from the contest for his second unsportsmanlike foul of the game. Using a 16-5 third-quarter run, Canada broke open a tight physical and low-scoring contest (36-36, 8:44) that featured eight ties and five lead changes.

The lead stretched to a game-high 11-points at 52-41 with 4:48 to play. Unfortunately, Canada couldn’t hang-on letting Germany right back in the game with their own 15-4 run to tie the deciding final affair at 56-56 with a quarter to play.

The Germans opened the final quarter on a 7-0 run, holding the Canadians scoreless for the first three-minutes to jump head 63-56. Canada rallied to tie the game on several occasions down the stretch — equalizing the score at 66-66 apiece on a step-back jumper from veteran Cory Joseph with 3:22 remaining — but was unable to get over the hump, as Germany made one last push to finish the tournament on a three-game winning streak.

Dennis Schroder nearly records historic triple-double

Germany’s NBA point guard Dennis Schroder shredded Canada’s defense — coming up one assist short of recording the first FIBA World Cup triple-double. The OKC Thunder guard recorded a game-highs across the board with 21 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals. Maximilian Kleber had strong effort with 21 points, 4 rebounds. Robin Benzing chipped in with 12 points and 3 rebounds.

Germany nailed 24-of-58 (41.4%), 9-of-25 (36%) from three-pointers and 15-of-31 from free-throws. The Canadians managed to sink 27-of-78 (34.6%), 9-of-39 (23.1%) and 13-of-17 foul shots.

Kyle Wiltjer Canada’s Top Player

Canadian Kyle Wiltjer Takes Advantage Of Mismatch Bangs Down Low Against Germany 2019 Fiba World Cup China
Canadian Kyle Wiltjer takes advantage of mismatch bangs down low against Germany at 2019 FIBA World Cup China – Photo FIBA

Kyle Wiltjer concluded a superb World Cup with 18 points and 5 rebounds. The Canadian sharper-shooter was the teams’ top-marksmen, averaging 16.4 points per game and 3 rebounds. Khem Birch also finished in double-figures with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals. Cory Joseph 9 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds. Melvin Ejim had an all-round effort with 9 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists.

Canadian head coach Nick Nurse — under contract through the 2020 Olympic Games, and by now fully aware of the nuances and challenges that he and his staff will face fielding a competitive Olympic Qualify team — once again opted to give 19-year old point guard Andrew Nembhard significant minutes — hoping the experience will prove beneficial for the future of Canada’s point guard position.

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The Florida Gators sophomore tailed 6 points, 4 assists and 1 steal in 17 minutes. Owen Klassen added 4 points, 7 rebounds.

Canada (2-3) closes the 2019 World Cup with wins over Senegal (82-60) and Jordan (126-71) and losses to Australia (108-92), Lithuania (92-69) and Germany (82-76).

Canada also racked-up Pre-FIBA World Cup wins over Nigeria, Australia and New Zealand (2x) – with losses coming to Nigeria, Australia and the USA — during their seven-game tour.

Canada’s overall record at FIBA World Cups currently stands at 35 wins – 66 losses dating back to 1954. A sixth (6) place finish at the 1978 World Cup currently stands as Canada best finish — falling 99-88 to tournament hosts Philippines in a tightly contest semi-final in Manilla.

2020 Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Team Canada will shift its focus to the 2020 Olympic Qualifying Tournament — where it will be grouped into one of four tournaments featuring 6 teams.

Teams that have already qualified for the last-minute 2020 Olympic Qualifiers include a strong crop – Canada, Lithuania, Italy, Greece, Brazil, Russia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Tunisia and Turkey.

They will be joined by the three lowest ranked teams from the 2019 FIBA World Cup quarter-finalists of Spain, Poland, Serbia, Czech Republic and France.

An additionally eight (8) from four different continents will be granted wild cards to the Olympic Qualifiers — bringing the total to 24 teams.

Based on current FIBA rankings, No. 7 Slovenia, No. 15. Latvia (Europe). No. 30 China, No. 31 Philippines (Asia), No. 14 Mexico, No. 34 Uruguay (Americas), No. 39 Angola and No. 37 Senegal (Africa) will certainly be heavily considered as the nation’s to be included in qualifiers.

FIBA is scheduled to release new rankings following the conclusion of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Dates and locations are still pending.

2020 Tokyo Olympics Qualified Teams

The following teams have already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics via the 2019 World Cup. Four more teams will awarded spots via winning one the four Olympic Qualifiers.

Two additional European teams will be awarded Olympic spots as best finishers at the 2019 World Cup. France, Spain, Serbia, Poland, Czech Republic all advanced to the Quarter-Finals – joining USA and Argentina as the two top remaining American teams. Australia rounds out the final 8 teams vying for the new Naismith Trophy.

2019 FIBA World Cup Final Standings

Position Team Record Point Diff
9🇱🇹 Lithuania3-2
10 🇮🇹 Italy3-2
11 🇬🇷 Greece3-2
12 🇷🇺 Russia3-2
13🇧🇷 Brazil3-2
14 🇻🇪 Venezuela3-2
15 🇵🇷 Puerto Rico3-2
16🇩🇴 Dominican Republic3-2
17 🇳🇬 Nigeria3-2
18 🇩🇪 Germany3-2
19🇳🇿 New Zealand3-2
20 🇹🇳 Tunisia3-2
21 🇨🇦 Canada2-3
22🇹🇷 Turkey2-3
23 🇮🇷 Iran2-3
24 🇨🇳 China2-3
25🇲🇪 Montenegro 1-4
26 🇰🇷 Korea1-4
27 🇦🇴 Angola1-4
28 🇯🇴 Jordan1-4
29 🇨🇮 Cote d’Ivoire 0-5
30🇸🇳 Senegal 0-5
31🇯🇵 Japan 0-5
32🇵🇭 Philippines0-5
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España FIBA Campeon Del Mundo



España FIBA Campeon Del Mundo
Scream if you want to go for Gold in Tokyo...

When Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa almost a decade ago this writer was in London seeing a friend from Seoul, South Korea. From Oxford Circus to the fountain tops of Piccadilly Circus there looked like a million Spanish people lining the streets that all lived here in the Big Smoke (F### Brexit! Multicultural is beautiful). And despite the honking horns and raised glasses it was the most peaceful, beautiful sports celebration I have ever seen. No hostility, just community. A Spanish man fell to his knees in front of me like he’d just scored and grabbed my hand with both of his in prayer. The most beautiful Spanish woman I’ve ever seen in her nations strip and scarf walked past me whilst trailing her fingertips across my arm and asked me flirtatiously whilst giggling, “who won the World Cup!”


Just an old memory to reminisce as we begin.

No Muleta could ever stop this raging red Spanish bull.

Ever since way before Kobe and Pau went from teammates to rivals every Summer, Spain have been one of the biggest nations in Basketball and certainly the most complete team. And now even without the older Spanish G.O.A.T. Gasol watching at home in his uniform and with Team USA given freedom by the bronze placed France, Spain proved once again that they aren’t only the most consistent and best team in Europe…but the greatest in the whole wide world.

Right now and forever more on the way to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This FIBA tournament has been something else in its self. And if this writer wasn’t about to start his own road to Japan he would have been able to enjoy it even more. But shout out to editor Edilson Silva’s wrists for keeping us in touch with the tournament on Twitter.

Even without the power of Pau, or many big names in the legendary legacy of the last decade of the Spanish side (no Sergio Rodríguez, Juan Carlos Navarro, Nikola Mirotic, or Serge Ibaka), the Spanish team still ruled like soccer or their basketball brother team Barcelona. As legends like Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio and of course Marc Gasol cut South America’s Argentina down to 20 point blowout, 95-75 size like Luis Scola’s trademark hair (but what a run of play for a member of the team of the tournament).

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Spain 2019 Fiba World Cup Champions
Spain Basketball 2019 FIBA World Cup Champions – Photo: FIBA

Marc made his mark as the second player in history to be an NBA Champion and a FIBA World Cup one in the same year, although unfortunately fellow Toronto Raptor Ibaka couldn’t join him. But what a Summer for the first player to do this since the Lakers Lamar Odom almost a decade back in 2010. Only a year after Marc Gasol’s draft rights were traded by the purple and gold for brother Pau.

“The rest of the world have been caught up for quite some time”, like Kobe Bryant said. “The days of the ’92 Barcelona Dream Team are gone”.

Now that’s as true as the U.S. coming in fourth place like half the States had a dance recital.

Congratulations to the real Dream Team…yeah I said it.

Ricky Rubio had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists and no one deserves it more.

Marc Gasol had 14 and 7 in both rebounds and assists.

Sergio Llull had 15.

Rudy Fernandez 11, 10 and 3.

And both Juancho and Willy Hernangomez both had 11 too.

Now what more can you possibly say like reacting to that practice pregame half court heave underarm…from behind the back like a Globetrotter?

What the?

Gabriel Deck led the way for Argentina with 24 whilst the likes of old rivals and friends Kobe Bryant and Tony Parker watched from courtside in a sold out arena in Beijing. Whilst Scola scored 8. Argentina were valiant in the final like they were the whole terrific tourney until they were slain by Spain.

Now expect Spain to control the Japanese Olympics in Tokyo next year like a matador.

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France Say Au Revoir To United States In FIBA World Cup



France Say Au Revoir To United States In Fiba World Cup


From ‘Dream’ to ‘Redeem’, call it what you will but last night in Dongguan, China was a nightmare for Team USA as the United States were sent packing from the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

And it was France who gave Greg Popovich team it’s last kiss last night…and Tony Parker was nowhere in sight, apart from some applause emojis on Twitter in celebration.

A year before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and many teams (including the U.S. and Canada baby!) clinching their berths for the Japan games in this tournament, this tourney was more than just a precursor or appetizer for the main event to come in a calendars time. It was a competitive game of brackets for all or nothing in its own right. Not to mention a showcase of just how talented the world’s game is, their teams and the individual talents of players themselves. If you haven’t been tuning in like the media networks with no coverage you’re really missing out and the point like TP9. From Giannis Antetokounmpo showing just how much he gives his body up for club and country. And the Hustle of Memphis Grizzlies Japanese G-League regular Yuta Watanabe showing that when it comes to the Olympics next year it’s not just a Washington Wizards top pick who will be big for Japan. Call him up!

And then of course there’s former Parker backup and Spurs man Patty Mills clicking and lowing the boom with his ruling Aussies as his New Zealand neighbours do the Haka that could even put The Rock’s ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ fast and furious movie Samoan war dance in a hard place. But when it came to Popovich’s countrymen they just couldn’t pop against France as red white and blue beat the stars and stripes 89-79. Ending a 58 non exhibition game winning streak that Dream Teams have kept awake for longer than the wonderful women’s U.S. soccer team.

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If you ignorantly thought that Basketball had no borders outside America (and really? It’s 2019! Who does apart from Trump? Besides this is a Canadian site), then you really won’t now. France made a statement and those (Laker fans) who social media say that the Walker, Tatum, Brown and Smart Celtics couldn’t even beat France and Kyle Kuzma wouldn’t let this happen shouldn’t take this away from the nation who beat them, fair and block to dunk square.

And besides young to veteran superstars with exuberance and (Rio 2016) experience like Donovan Mitchell and Harrison Barnes respectively and respectfully couldn’t get it done either.

The U.S. played well and will be back to their best next year (but need to bring more big guns and names to the Olympic Games), but France just played better. Much better. From the stifling Eiffel Tower of Rudy Gobert with 21 points, 16 rebounds and 3 beautiful looking blocks from the view up there. Beautiful but brutal as Mitchell and Kemba Walker in the clutch can attest.

“We came here to win Gold,” Gobert told press postgame for a team who wants to lift more World Cups than their soccer counterpart. Between four point plays from Nicolas Batum and a team leading 22 from Evan Fournier on a 50 percent 4 for 8 from three from way back in Paris, this side didn’t even need Spurs like Parker or Boris Diaw. Especially when they had MVP and Knick, Frank Ntilikina. All that side needed was heart and they had it in abundance as France looked better than those Jumpman Paris St Germain black hoodies with Jordan in the A.

And anyone who wants to make this more about the U.S. needs to listen to Brooklyn Net and three point contest winner from downtown China Joe Harris, “We certainly didn’t deserve to win that game.”


Let that or Au Revoir be the last word.

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