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Canada provides stiff test for second-ranked Spain despite 82-70 loss

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Canada provides stiff test for second-ranked Spain despite 82-70 loss

Canada’s Senior Men’s National team came up short against the second-ranked Spain in their sixth game of their 2014 European tour, bowing out 82-70 in front of a packed house in La Corouna. Team Spain playing in their first tune-up game of the 2014 FIBA World Cup championship wasted no time dominating the short-handed and under-maned Canadian squad by feeding the ball to the Gasol brothers (Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies)  inside a 25-12 lead after the first-quarter. The Gasol combined for 16 of Spain’s 25 points, each scoring eight points apiece.

Canada struggled to find quality looks on offensive end and had no answer for Serge Ibaka who came off the bench to anchor the Spanish side to a 9-0 run and a 34-12 to open-up the second-quarter. Head coach Jay Triano looking for a spark, inserted Dwight Powell (Cleveland Cavaliers) off the bench and the versatile Toronto native helped Canada stay in the game with eight points in the quarter as Canada trailed 47-29 at the break.

Canada made some adjustments inside and picked up the pace of the game behind a strong quarter by point guard Cory Joseph who scored nine of his team-high 19 points in the thrid quarter to help Canada cut the lead to 60-50 with one final quarter to play.  The third-year San Antonio Spurs guard nailed his second three-pointer of the contest get the lead down to single digits at 64-55 with 6:45 to play, the closest the Canadians would get to before finally bowing out to a tough Spanish side which is loaded with NBA talent and is once again expected to challenge the United States of America at the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball taking place right in there backyard.

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Orlando Magic forward Andrew Nicholson added 13 points and five rounds, Brady Heslip finished with 11 points and both Kelly Olynyk and Dwight Powell contributed with 8 points each.

Chigaco Bulls forward Pau Gasol finished with a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds, his brother Marc Gasol added 15 points alongside rebounds and Serge Ibaka also played well with 15 and 8. Team Spain out-rebounded Canada 47-42 and forced Canada into 24 turnovers compared to 14 of their own.

Spain shot a healthly 47% on 23/48 shooting wild Canada’s impressive second which saw them outscore 43-35 finished with a mild 42% on 22/52 shots.  Canada only mustered up six free-attempts going a2/6 from the charity line while Spain got to line in abundance finishing the game 21-for-27 from free-throws.

Spain will continue it’s preparation of the 2014 World Cup by taking on African champions Angola in their next game. Canada currently 3-6 will continue it’s European tour with a game Turkey in Seville, Spain on August 1o before wrapping things up against Angola the following day.

Box score

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FIBA

Australia hand USA first loss since 2006, ending 78 game winning streak

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Patty Mills 30 Points Australia Hand Usa First Loss Since 2006 Ending 78 Game Winning Streak
Patty Mills drills a three-pointer over Jayson Tatum - Photo: NBL

The Australia Boomers playing in front of the biggest crowd (52,079) to ever watch a basketball game were able to pull off the unthinkable and do what no international team has been able to do since 2006 – knocking off the USA 98-94 in their final tune-up game before the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Patty Mills scored a game-high 30 points — knocking down four triples, including 12 points in the fourth-quarter. Andrew Bogut nearly had a double-double with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Joe Ingles added 15 points and 7 rebounds. Aron Baynes 13 points 4 rebounds.

The loss is the Americans first defeat in nearly 13 years since Greece took them down 101-95 in the semi-finals of the 2006 FIBA World Championships in Saitama, Japan.

Team USA managed to regroup and win the Bronze Medal of the the tournament and ripped-off a program best 78 straight wins – failing to lose a game at the 2007 FIBA Americas, 2008 Summer Olympics in Bejing, 2010 World Championships, 2012 Olympics, 2014 World Cup and again in 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Prior to the loss to Greece in 2006, the Americans also dropped a stunning 95-78 decision to Italy in 10 prior to the start of the 2004 Olympic games in Athens Greece.

Kemba Walker continued to lead the way for the Americans with 22 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Harrison Barnes had a strong effort with 20 points and 6 rebounds Donovan Mitchell added 12 points in the loss.

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The USA (2-1) will play Canada (4-2) on Monday, August 26th in their final tune-up for before the World Cup in China.

The Boomers (2-2) now set their focus on traveling to China and their preparation for their opening game against the Team Canada on September 1st.

Boxscore: Australia vs. USA

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FIBA

Canada sweeps two-game series against New Zealand

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Canada Sweeps Two Game Series Against New Zealand
Kevin Pangos and Philip Scrubb

Team Canada fought off a strong effort from the New Zealand Tall Blacks to sweep a two-game pre-FIBA World Cup Series with a 103-100 overtime victory.

Philip Scrubb scored a team-high 24 points, dished out 6 assists and pulled down 5 rebounds to once again lead six Canadians in double-figures. Kevin Pangos added 17 points and 9 assists. Oshae Brissett continued to produce with 12 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists double-double before fouling out. Kyle Witjer 18 points, 5 rebounds. Thomas Scrubb 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and Owen Klassen 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Tall Blacks came out strong after being embarrassed by a 34-point loss to the Canadians in game one of the series leading 23-13 after the first-quarter. Canada was able to execute in the second-quarter ripping off a 12-2 run to get back in the game and trailed New Zealand 36-33 at half-time.

The Canadians broke-open a 48-48 tie mid-way through the third-quarter with an 8-0 run taking a 56-48 lead on two made free-trows by Thomas Scrubb and finished the quarter ahead 60-59.

Kevin Pangos drilled two three-pointers early in the fourh-quarter to push the Canadian lead to 71-61 with 7:24 to play in regulation. The Tall Blacks continued to play hard on the strength of Cory Webster who poured in a game-high 33 points, added 5 rebounds and 5 assists to force overtime at 81-81.

Kyle Wiltjer caught fire in the extra session scoring 11 of Canada’s 22 overtime points, knocking down two triples as the Team Canada hang-on for the the win a series sweep.

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“We are just glad we got win, I thank all the fans who came out made the game fun, that’s what its all about.” thanked Witjer after the game.

“We have a very beautiful team, very unselfish so any given guy can step-up every night so it makes us tough to defend.” – continued Wiltjer about his performance after the game.

With Canada missing majority of their current NBA stars, Wiltjer a former second-round pick of the Houston Rockets is extremely proud to represent Canada once again “its a huge honor every time I play for Canada so I’m really honored to be on this team and Australia is beautiful country so thank you for having us”

Canada connected on 14-of-50 triples (28%) and struggled at the free-throw line shooting 17-of-26 (65%). Canada yanked-down 20 offensive rebounds on their way to a slim 58-55 advantage.

Andrew Nembhard Injury Vs New Zealand Tall Blacks
Andrew Nembhard picks-up a right knee injury against New Zealand Tall Blacks

A night after losing Kaza Kajami-Keane to an ankle injury Team Canada lost yet another point guard as Andrew Nembhard picked-up a right knee injury early in the first-quarter and didn’t return.

Despite various incorrect reports, Canadian head coach Nick Nurse confirmed that point guard Cory Joseph will indeed be available for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Canada improves to 4-2, with victories over Nigeria, Australia and New Zealand (2x). Team Canada will take on the United States of America in their final exhibition game before the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Boxscore: Canada vs. New Zealand

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