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Canada beats Puerto Rico wins first-ever Tuto Marchand Cup



What a difference two years makes!

After failing to win a game at the 2013 Tuto Marchand Cup, Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) completed a clean sweep at the bi-annual FIBA Americas tune-up tournament. Canada finished a perfect 4-0 thanks to a hard-fought 78-72 win over hosts Puerto Rico to claim their first-ever Marchand Cup title since the event began back in 2007.

Behind a game-high 20 point, 5 rebound performance from Andrew Wiggins, capped by a late-four quarter dunk that set social media on fire, Canada was able to fight-off a Puerto Rico opponent which came into the game on a nine-game winning streak versus the Canadians. Andrew Nicholson found his shooting touch, knocking down 4-out-5 three-pointers on his way to a 16 point, four rebound outing.


Canadian Head Coach Jay Triano Thumbs Up as Canada Goes 4-0 at Tuto Marchand Cup

Unlike the three previous contests where Canada was able to pull away from their South American opponents early on, Puerto Rico played with Canada from start to finish, forcing Jay Triano and his staff to shorten the bench rotations to 8-9 players to pull out the win.

Melvin Ejim (Orlando Magic) continued to show his improved shooting stroke and the ability to defend multiple positions, the former NCAA BIG 12 player of the year (Iowa St./2013) racked-up a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds (6 offensive) on 4-of-5 shooting.

Canada’s starting point guard Cory Joseph, also played well and finished with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in the win. Philip Scrubb outstanding playing continued as the former 3-time CIS Most Valuable player chipped in with 7 points and 2 rebounds including a huge three-pointer late in the fourth quarter as Puerto Rico threatened to take lead.

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Anthony Bennett added 8 points and 5 rebounds in limited minutes.

Puerto Rico was lead J.J Barea with 17 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds. Ramon Clemente added 14 points and 9 rebounds.

Canada shot 29/71 (41%) from the field and 10/27 (37%) from the outside with Nicholson (4) and Wiggins (2) combining six of those makes from behind the Arc.

For the four straight contest Canada out-muscled and out-scrapped their opponents on the boards with 45-36 advantage over Puerto Rico.

Despite Canada’s success at the Marchand Cup Jay Triano and his troops must address the foul-shooting woes, Canada once again left plenty of points off the board by going 10/18 (56%) from the charity stripe. Canada shot a low 63/95 (66%) in all four games. Turnovers will be an area of concern as Canada averaged over 16 giveaways per game versus 13 assists

The last time Canada beat Puerto Rico was in 2007 at the opening game of the Marchand Cup, a 65-63 win. Canada, Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela along with Puerto Rico round-out Group B at the 2015 FIBA Americas Championships. Both teams will meet at least once again, in less than a week, for their last group B game, a match-up which could, very well determine who advances out of the group stage as the SMNT continues their road to Rio De Janeiro.

Canada kicks off the group stage of the Olympic Qualifier against Argentina on Sept. 1.


Canada Look To Take Gold In The Gold Coast Commenwealth After Buzzer Beating New Zealand



Canuck Touch This

“Hotter than July” like a Stevie album may be the forever forecast in the Gold Coast of Australia right now, but after icing the semi-finals of the 2018 Commenwealth Games like birthday cakes, Canada look to bring a cold front down under. So we hope you brought your big coats from earlier this years Pyeonchang Winter Olympics. Because you’ll need them. Its time to zip and wrap it all up.

Beating the Aussie neighbouring New Zealand 88-86 at the buzzer last night, even the fear striking pre-game ritual of the haka in all it’s glory couldn’t stop the Canucks (like the hack-a-Shaq on them rare nights when the diesel was all fuelled up from the free-throw line). Because Mamadou Gueye had the sauce and the dressing, as he threw up the prayer off the glass and the basketball Gods banked an answer. His shot may have looked like one of 10 year veteran turned Laker, Andre Ingram, but it was the right pitch and strike like ‘Dre throwing the first one at Dodger Stadium the same night last. No foul ball or referee call. Far flung like a hot potato with seconds to spare in the games oven. Despite throwing it over the coat cloaked defender from way behind the line with his outstetched and contured body looking like Gueye was kick hip-checked, it was all cash off the glass as he stunted the Tall Blacks for a whole continent declaring, “We The North” like the 6.

It hasn’t been this nasty since Nash saw red maple and white, flying the flag. Captain Canada we salute you!

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Making up for the Canadian womens national team, semi-final upset to number 21 world ranked Great Britain, 65-53 behind 20 from G.B.’s Rachael Vanderwal. Canada overcame a NZ off the ropes rally from 21 down and brought the knockout punch in a game that could have all gone due south like that dog Diefenbaker against the Kiwis. Now all that stands in the way of gold in the Gold Coast is host nation Australia, who sucker-beat previously unbeaten Scotland (who now take on New Jealand for the bronze podium position) 103-46, behind 17 from star Jesse Wagstaff. Not to mention the country who thrased Canada by 40 points in the pools. No shallow feat staring in the upset waters of what could be defeat.

But revenge is always a dish best served cold. No matter how long the games been on the grill.

Time to lower the boom.

Here it comes…

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Three-point barrage helps Canada route Bahamas 113-67 FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers



Brady Heslip Three Pointer Canada Routes Bahamas FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Team Canada picked up a convincing 113-67 win over Bahamas to improve to 3-1 in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers zone. Behind a three-point barrage and unselfish play the Canadians reached the century mark for the second straight game and secured a berth in the second-round of the qualifying tournament.

Brady Heslip once again led Canada in the scoring column with a game-high 19 points, on 5-of-9 shooting from the outside in just 24 minutes. The Burlington, Ontario native drilled three triples in the opening quarter to help ignite the Canadian offense that saw a total of six players hitting double figures all Canadians scoring at least 3 points. Melvin Ejim added 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, Thomas Scrubb continued to show his versatility with 10 points, 7 rebounds and a game-high 6 assists while Kyle Landry contributed well with 14 points and 8 rebounds.

Melvin Ejim Three Point Barrage Helps Canada Route Bahamas 113 67 Fiba Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

Melvin Ejim Helps Canada Route Bahamas 113 67 Fiba Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

Canada buried a total of 16 three-pointers on 34 attempts (44%),  dished out 26 assists and pounded the glass, beating the Bahamas 47-31.

Through four qualification games Canada is averaging 100 points per game while shooting 515 from the floor and 39% from threes. Brady Heslip currently ranks fifth in scoring with 18 points per game and leads everybody with 20 made triples.

The Road to the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup continues for Canada as they will return back home for the third and final window of the first-round of qualification process.  The Canadians will look to avenge their only of of the competition when they to face Group D leaders and undefeated Dominican Republic (4-0) in Toronto on Friday, June 29 and the Virgin Islands (1-3) in the Nations Capital of Ottawa on  Monday, July 2nd 2018

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The top three teams in the four Americas Zone qualifiers groups advance to round 2 with the top 7 from the second-round advancing the 2019 World Cup in China.

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Canada blasts US Virgin Islands FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers



Canada Basketball Blasts Virgin Islands Fiba Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

Led by a trio of veterans Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) blasted the Virgin Islands 118-89 in  FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.

Veteran Canadian forward and former Iowa State Cyclones standout Melvin Ejim returned to the Canadian National lineup for the first time since the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament and poured in a game-high 28 points, 8 rebounds the 29 point route. Sharpshooter Brady Heslip continued his stellar play for Canada in Qualifying phase by adding 22 points including 5 rebound and 5 assists. Anthony Bennett also had a solid outing with 13 points on 5 rebounds.

The 118 points scored marks the most points scored by a Canada’s Senior men team since the Canadians hung a 112-92 victory over Puerto Rico in 2015.

With the win Canada avenges an embarrassing 83-71 to the Virgin Islands less than 12 months ago at the FIBA AmeriCup and improves the Canadians to 2-1 in Group D of the Americas World Cup qualifiers. Up next for the Canadians is another road test against the Bahamas (0-3).

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