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Canada at the 1964 Pre-Olympic Basketball Tournament

After falling to qualify for the 1960 Olympic Games, Canada’s senior men’s national basketball team was forced to raise money and pay its own way to Yokohama, Japan for the 1964 Pre-Olympic Basketball Tournament.

Canada basketball at the 1964 pre olympic basketball tournament
Canada basketball at the 1964 pre olympic basketball tournament

As had been the case many times in past international men’s basketball events, our Canadian rep at the 1964 Pre-Olympic Basketball Tournament (Pan Continental)  had to raise their own funds to attend the September 25 to October 4 tournament in Yokohama,  Japan.

This non-funding action was set in motion by the Canadian Olympic Committee in that Canadian men had failed in 1960 Olympic pre-qualifying and had placed 9th at 1948, 1952 and 1956 Olympics.

“People just don’t seem to realize that we are going over to represent Canada. We’ve bought uniforms, blazers and so on and nobody will be ashamed of us,” predicted team manager Doug Heaslip in a newspaper article.

“We figure in that we are going over as goodwill ambassadors for Canada, some government agency at least would give us a flag or at least the money to buy one, so we could put it up the pole like the other countries.

“The whole thing is ridiculous, and the fellows are starting to take the attitude…The hell with it.”

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Player/coach Ruby Richman gave this perspective: “It’s like sending a Canadian hockey team to the Olympics without benefit of a tour of Russia or good exhibition games here at home.”

The team had written  600 letters and made countless personal phone calls but raised only  $6,500 of an estimated $14,000 needed.

Canadian olympic basketball team pays own way to 1964 pre olympic tournament
Canadian olympic basketball team pays own way to 1964 pre olympic tournament

The team was composed mainly of players from the Toronto Dow Kings winners of the 1963 -1964 Canadian Senior Men’s Basketball Championships.

Up to $650 each was coming from their own pockets. Men  that had regular day jobs: school teacher, salesman, university students, pharmacists, lawyer, engineer and grocery store manager.

Canadian roster with uniform numbers: 4, Joseph Stulac (Toronto, Ont.); 6 Barry Howson (London, Ont.); 7 James Maguire (Weston, Ont.);  8 Keith Hartley (Vancouver, B.C.);  9 Warren Reynolds (Toronto, Ont.); 10 Allan Birtles (Carbon, Alta.); 11 Rollie Goldring (Scarborough, Ont.); 12 Fred Ingaldson (Winnipeg, Man.); 13 John McKibbon (Sudbury, Ont.); 14 John Dacyshyn; 15 George Stulac (Toronto, Ont.) and No. 5 Reugen Richman (Willowdale, Ont.) as player coach.

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Sept 25, 1964

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Australia 73 Canada 53  

“Our performance was far below normal,” said Heaslip. “We played one very bad game.”

Canada only led once in the match 11-9 after seven minutes and was then held scoreless the last 10 minutes of the opening half.

Keith Hartley and John McKibbon each had 13 points for Canada, who were outscored 51-33 in the second half.

Lindsay Gaze led the Aussies with 16.

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Sept 26, 1964

Canada 70 Thailand 52

Canada led 27-17 at the half and then exploded for 43 points in the second half.

Hartley led a balanced Canadian attack with 17 points while Vantana Teeratimakorn had 12 points in the loss.

Sept 27, 1964

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Canada 70 Indonesia 60

Canada traded basket-for-basket in the second half after having a 38-28 first half edge.

Winnipeg’s Fred Ingaldson had  20 points with Al Birtles 13 and Barry Howson 11.

Tournament leading scorer Siong Liem Siem (29.7 ppg) was held to 20. Siem would drop 59 points in this tournament against Cuba.

Indonesia was coached by American Bob Ackerman.

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Sept 28, 1964

Canada 73 Korea 65

Despite an obvious  height disadvantage, the Korea side stayed close, down 26-24 with three minutes until the half.

They closed the gap to 57-55 but Korea lost many players to fouls including Har Ui Ken with 18 points.

Ingaldson paced Canada with  17 points and Warren  Reynolds added 14.

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Fred ingaldson leads canada basketball closer to 1964 olympics basketball berth
Fred ingaldson leads canada basketball closer to 1964 olympics basketball berth

Sept 30, 1964

 Mexico 64 Canada 61

Trailing most of the first half, Mexico tied it at the half 36-36.

With the lead changing 11 times in the second half, the Mexicans pulled out the victory.

Carlos Quintanar had 17 point in the win while Canada’s  McKibbon replied with 23 points.

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“My boys played alright but the Mexicans played well too. They played North American type basketball,” said Heaslip.

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Mexican manager Jorge Gudino replied “The height of the Canadians gave my team some difficulties. We missed too many rebounds.’

October 1, 1964

Canada 88 Malaysia 45

Five Canadians scored in double figures with Birtles the high at 17. Canada led 32-10 at the half.

October 2, 1964

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Canada 86 Taiwan 79

Birtles scored a game high 27 points. Chen chin-land 20 points in defeat.

October 3, 1964

 Canada 68 Philippines 64

With the game tied 63-63 the  Philippines side missed 3-of-4 free throws in last minute. Ingladson had a free throw  with two seconds remaining. He had a game high 21 points.

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Philippines coach Tito Eduque after the game said: “We had a good team combination and were fast as the Canadians. I am very sad we have been eliminated.”

October 4, 1964

Canada 72 Cuba 63

Balanced scoring: McKibbon 16, Reynolds 14 and Ingaldson 12.

Pedro Chappe 22 points for Cuba.

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Canada finished  at 7-2 along with South Korea 5-4, Australia 8-1 and Mexico 8-1.

The 12-team 1964 Pre-Olympic Basketball Tournament was an international FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Originally the top two teams would qualify for the Olympics but after the withdrawal of United Arab Republic (FIBA Africa Championship 1964 winners) and Czechoslovakia (5th placers at the 1960 Olympics) two more qualifying berths were added to the qualification tournament…. thus Canada and South Korea qualified to the Olympics.

Up next Canada at the 1964 Olympics!

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