“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!
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…
Hot shooting Australia Boomers take down Canada
Canada wrapped a two-game exhibition series against 2019 FIBA World Cup group H foe and commonwealth neighbor with a 81-73 loss to the hot shooting Australia Boomers.
Canada started off slow as Australia made their defensive adjustments, limiting the Canadians pick and roll opportunities by going under screens and trailed 13-6 early on but rallied with a 12-5 run to close the first-quarter with a 18-17 lead on a step-back jumper from Oshae Brissett.
The Canadian’s opened up the second-quarter with back-to-back triples from Aaron Best and Kaza Kajami-Keane for 26-19 lead with 7:27 to play. Australia responded with a 9-0 run to re-take the lead before Andrew Nembhard put a halt to the run with a easy lay-up and a Khem Birch inside basket put Canada up 33-30 at half-time after a low-scoring 20 minutes.
The action the picked in the third-quarter as both teams shot the ball extremely well, combining for a total of 56 points. Melvin Ejim scored Canada’s first five points and Khem Birch dominated the paint to give Team Canada a 48-38 advantage with 5:42 to play. Australia quickly found their stroke knocking down three-straight triples on their way to six in the quarter take a slim 60-59 lead after the third-quarter.
Canada’s offense dried-up in the fourth-quarter with just two points scored at the mid-way point as they settled for long jumpers and three-pointers and quickly found themselves down 70-61 with 4:43 to play in the game.
Khem Birch sparked a late Canadian run, scoring 6 straight points to cut the lead down to 3 points at 70-67 with 3:30 to play and finished with a game-high 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals. Oshae Brissett added 14 points and 5 rebounds. Kaza Kajami-Keane rounded out Canada’s double-figure scores with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists and Melvin Ejim contributed with 9 points and 7 rebounds.
The Boomers knocked down 12-31 (38%) from downtown, after shooting just 3-for-13 in the first-half. The Canadians were a miserable 7-of-25 (28%) from the outside and struggled with turnovers with 16. The Aussies grabbed 12 offensive boards and won the battle of the glass with a 43-40 edge.
“I thought it was very positive for us these two games, I thought we played extremely well, we competed, we played as a team, last night we obviously shot the ball a little bit better from three-point land but overall I thought it was a very positive two days for us.” – shared Canada’s associate head coach Gordie Herbert after the game.
“We showed a lot of character these last two games, we had some guys not playing, but it was the same on their side. We played really tough, this is a great Australian team, they got a lot of great players and they are going to do very well. But I thought we showed promised and have the ability to compete no matter who we put on the floor.” – added Melvin Ejim.
Australia was led by Jock Landale with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Jonah Bolden added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists and Chris Goulding with 10 points and 3 rebounds on 3-of -7 triples.
Canadian head coach Nick Nurse opted for a starting line-up that featured Andrew Nembhard, Philip Scrubb, Oshae Brissett, Kyle Wiltjer and Khem Birch while resting Kevin Pangos. The Boomers played without Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut.
Team Canada (2-2) will continue its FIBA World Cup preparations with a two-game series against New Zealand in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday August 20 and Wednesday August 21st.
Canada lays the boom defeats Australia 90-70
Canada opened-up a five-game pre-FIBA World cup exhibition schedule on foreign soil with an impressive 20-point, 90-70 win over Australia Boomers.
Playing with just one NBA player after inviting 17 to training camp, Canada dissected Australia’s poor pick and roll defense by controlling the tempo with outstanding guard play and timely three-point shooting.
Kevin Pangos 18 points, 6 assists , 4 steals, on 7-of-10 shooting, 4-of-6 triples paced five Canadian basketball players in double-figures.
“He just wants us to play aggressive and play with confidence and keep getting better, it’s a process, we don’t want to peak right now, we want to peak at the Worlds.” discussed Pangos post-game about head Coach Nick Nurse’s mentality coming into the physical affair against a team that is part of Canada’s group H at the World Cup.
19-year-old point-guard Andrew Nembhard finished with a double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists playing a team-high 26 minutes.
“I’m just excited to be here, I feel like I’m supposed to be here and feel really comfortable on the court.” – opened-up Nembhard after the game.
Kaza Kajami-Keane came off the bench and hit a crucial three-pointer to end the third-quarter to restore orders for Canada and finished with 12 points. on 2-of-3 three-pointers. Kyle Wiltjer was crucial with 11 points and 6 rebounds including 3-of-6 from downtown.
Owen Klassen filling in for injured Olynyk was solid with 10 points and 4 rebounds. Philip Scrubb also chipped in with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
Canada knocked down 13-of-32 (40%) triples and shot 36-of-79 (45%) from the the game.
Australia a team, loaded with NBA talent including Patty Mills, Joe Ingles (11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists), Andrew Bogut (10 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists), Matthew Dellavedova (0 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds) were held to just 6-of-34 shooting from three-pointers and struggled with 15 turnovers — largely due to Team Canada’s active hands on defense.
Mills finished with a game-high 20 points knocking down 4 of Australia’s 6 three-pointers on just 4-of-13 outside the arc.
Nick Nurse opted for a starting line-up that featured Philip Scrubb, Kevin Pangos, Oshae Brissett (3 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists), Kyle Wiltjer and Khem Birch (6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists). Both Brady Heslip and Melvin Ejim sat out this one out and will likely suit-up for the next game.
Canada improves to 2-1 in their 7-game pre-Fiba schedule and will take on the Aussies once again tomorrow as both teams get ready for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
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