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Canada begins “New Era” with hard fought 85-80 win over Argentina

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Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) officially kicked-off “The New Era” of Canadian Basketball with a hard-fought and well deserved 80-85 win over an experienced and physical Argentina team at the 2015 Tuto Marchard Cup in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Head coach Jay Triano who guided Canada to a Silver Medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games on home soil (Toronto) finally unleashed “Canada’s Dream Team” to the World. The opener of the tune-up tournament for the Olympic qualifier (FIBA Americas) also featured the SMNT debut of Andrew Wiggins, who last donned the Canada Red and White back in 2012 at the FIBA Americas U18 championships in Brazil.

Anthony Bennett Putback Dunk vs. Argentina

Anthony Bennett Putback Dunk vs. Argentina

Wiggins wasted no time making his impact felt by scoring the games first five points on two silky smooth jumpers as Canada raced out to a 13-4 lead on the Argentinians and newly signed Toronto Raptors Luis Scola. Canada shot the lights out and found themselves up 30-23 at the end of the first-quarter on 11-of-15 (73%) shooting from the floor and 6-of-9 (67%) from the shorter international FIBA three-point line.

Wiggins finished the quarter with 9 points and with Cory Joseph (Toronto Raptors) on the sideline (veteran rest day), former Carleton Ravens standout point guard Philip Scrubb got the starting nod and contributed 5 points and 2 rebounds in the opening quarter.

Canada’s superior athleticism and overall depth started to dominate as Anthony Bennett, fresh off a strong showing at the Pan Am Games got involved in the second-quarter, scoring inside and cleaning the boards as the Canadians took control of the game including a first-half, game-high lead of 13 points at 41-28 on an Andrew Nicholson triple. Canada closed out the quarter poorly as Argentina capitalized on several avoidable turnovers to cut Canada’s lead to single-digits, 45-37 at half-time.

The third-quarter saw the physicality meter turn-up as Argentina slowed the pace, but failed to threaten, as Canada maintained a comfy 7-8 point margin, until a  6-0 run pushed the deficit to 60-45 with 1:19 remaining and an eventual 60-50 lead with one quarter to play.

Argentina slowly chipped into Canada’s lead and outscored the Red & White 16-6, forcing a 66-66 tie with 4:24 to play. The two teams continued to trade baskets and with the game up for grabs on yet another inside two-point basket by Scola and with Canada clinging to slim 79-77 lead with just 37 seconds to play head Coach Jay Triano called
a timeout.

Must Read:  Andrew Wiggins 29 point, Dunk-A-Thon 2016 NBA All-Star Rising Stars Game

Without any hesitation, he drew-up a designed play to get Andrew Wiggins the ball in the flow of the offense.

And just like he had done before at the U18 games in Brazil and at the 2010 FIBA World U17 championships in Germany, Wiggins delivered yet another clutch play when his team needed him most, this a time a silky smooth baseline jumper to put Canada ahead 81-77 with 26 seconds to play and earn their first victory of “Canada’s Dream Team.”

Wiggins finished with a team-high 18 points, 2 rebounds on 6-of-13 shooting and 2-of-4 from the outside. Anthony Bennett continued his stellar player over the summer by notching yet another double-double with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds including a team-high 33 minutes. Philip Scrubb 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and Dwight Powell’s 11 points and 5 rebounds also reached double-figures for the Canadians who snapped a four-game losing skid at the Tuto Marchand Cup going 0-4 in 2013 and enacting some revenge against an Argentina team that killed any hopes of Canada earning a shot at inaugural 2014 FIBA World Cup.

“I thought it was a good, hard-fought game,” discussed Wiggins after his much awaited debut. “It was physical, both teams played well. We’ve got a new group of guys so we’re still coming together. You can see that we’re getting more fluid with what we do.”

Canada out-rebounded Argentina 44-27 but turned the ball over 19 times and finished the game shooting 27-61 (44%) and 9-of-29 from the outside.

With 13 players on the roster Jay Triano, Dave Smart and the rest of talented Canadian coaching staff have the tough decision to cut one more player ahead of the 2015 FIBA Americas Philip-Scrubb-Canada-vs-ArgentinaChampionship. Depending how things go over the next four games Triano will have to decide on weather he wants three point guards (Cory, Joseph, Hanlan, Philip Scrubb), if not which one will back-up Joseph. Other names being carefully examined include Aaron Doornekamp and Melvin Ejim.

The Canadians will look to make it two in a row as they take on 2016 Olympic Games hosts Brazil in their second-game of the 2015 Tuto Marchard Cup.

FIBA

Young Canadian squad shapes FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

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Xavier Rathan Mayes Canada Vs Argentina

For the past twenty-plus (20) years starving Canadian basketball fans across the country have asked for more International sanctioned games on home soil.

Finally, it looks like those requests are materializing.

With the upcoming kick-off to the newly formatted road to the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the 2019 Americas Qualifiers taking place in Halifax, Nova Scotia will satisfy and quench the thirst of long-time East coast supporters of the National game.

A young, 25th-ranked Canadian squad will take on 59th ranked Bahamas, in a important Group D qualify game at the Scotiabank Centre.

Led by former number one pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Anthony Bennett (Northern Arizona, G-League), the roster features a strong young crop of former Usports All-Canadians and NCAA Division I standouts. Additionally, a further testimony to the growth of Canadian University Basketball, Ryerson Rams head coach Roy Rana, headlines the coaching staff alongside Carleton Ravens coach Dave Smart.

Point guard duties will be handled by Olivier Hanlan, Phil Scrubb and Kaza Kajami-Keane. The latter two having won multiple Usports basketball championships under the tutelage of Smart. Three-point specialist Brady Heslip and along side confident Xavier Rathan-Mayes will look to fill it up for the outside. The front court will anchored by 6’8″ Anthony Bennett, Thomas Scrubb, (another Ravens All-Canadian) and former Acadia Axemen 6’10” Owen Klassen (Kingston, ON).

Overall the roster looks solid, given the lack of availability of Canada’s top talent due to changes in the qualifying format, and the NBA’s willingness to move aside and grant FIBA the release of its players, regardless of nationality for the World Cup qualifying periods.

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Placed in Group D alongside Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Dominican Republic. The young Canadians will play a home and away series against each team. After the Bahamas game, Canada will fly out to the Dominican Republic for a stern road test on November 28, 2017 to wrap up the opening qualifying window.  The second qualifier will take in late February with Canada once again hitting the road for games against the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. The third qualifying window will see Canada host two more games on home soil on June 29 and July 2, 2018.

Canada is coming off a mediocre performance at the FIBA Americup dropping games to Virgin Islands 83-71, Argentina 92-86 with its only win against a tough Venezuela 75-66 team that denied the Canadians an Olympics appearance in Rio 2016.

Joel Anthony

Centre

6’9″

Montreal, QCFree Agent
Anthony Bennett

Forward

6’8″

Toronto, ONNorthern Arizona Suns (G-League)
Grandy Glaze

Centre

6’7″

Toronto, ONSt. John’s Edge (NBL Canada)
Olivier Hanlan

Guard

6’4″

Aylmer, QCAustin Spurs (G-League)
Brady Heslip

Guard

6’2″

Burlington, ONTrabzonspor (Turkey)
Kaza Kajami-Keane

Guard

6’1″

Ajax, ONRaptors 905 (G-League)
Owen Klassen

Centre

6’10”

Kingston, ONPAOK (Greece)
Dyshawn Pierre

Forward

6’6″

Whitby, ONBanco di Srd (Italy)
Xavier Rathan-Mayes

Guard

6’4″

Scarborough, ONWestchester Knicks (G-League)
Phil Scrubb

Guard

6’3″

Richmond, B.C.Fraport SKY (Germany)
Thomas Scrubb

Forward

6’6″

Richmond, B.C.Scandone AV (Italy)
Marc Trasolini

Centre

6’9″

Vancouver, B.C.Hokkaido L. (Japan)
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FIBA

Canadian Rowan Barrett Jr. Insane 38 points versus USA

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Canadian Rowan Barrett Jr. 38 Points Versus USA

Canadian Guard Rowan Barrett Jr. goes off for an insane 38 points versus USA at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo Egypt. Canada stunned the USA 99-87 to advance to Gold Medal game.

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FIBA

Angola’s Silvio de Sousa beastly 27 points, 21 rebounds against Korea

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Angola Silvio Sousa Dominates Korea 2017 FIBA U 19 World Cup
Photo: FIBA

Angola’s 18-year old Silvio de Sousa (6’9″, 240lbs) power forward is one of the rising stars of Angolan and African Basketball.

In his last FIBA U19 game in Cairo, De Sousa beasted Korea with 27 points and 21 rebounds as Angola closed-out the 2017 World Cup with a 55-53 win.

De Sousa, a bruising forward is the best polished Angolan Basketball player ever at this age and averaged a double-double at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Egypt, Cairo with 17.3 points per game (3rd), 13.1 rebounds (1st), 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals.

The 2018 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) four star recruit holds NCAA Basketball Division I offers from Florida, Louisville, Maryland, LSU and many others and currently represents Angola’s best chance at a future first round and potential NBA pick.

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