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Too close for comfort: Canada eeks out 3-point win against Senegal

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In a game where Canada held their opponents to a stingy 28 percent shooting, Canada still couldn’t find a way to pull away at any point from the athletic Senegal team largely due to their own offensive woes.

Senegal’s high energy level was appropriate for a team making their tournament debut in this game, as a 6-0 first quarter run against the Canadians playing for the second straight day gave them an early 20-16 lead and their largest of the game.

Canada regrouped after that though as they closed both of the opening quarters strong, with a 6-0 run in the first and limiting Senegal to just 2 points in over 5 minutes to close the half.

After just 11 points in the 2nd quarter, Canada was unable to work out their offensive challenges following the break as they ended the game without a 3-pointer on 11 attempts in the last 3 quarters. Senegal though had a similar fate after a hot start from beyond the arc, ending the game by hitting 6 of 31 in that same time frame. Canada coach Jay Triano put a positive spin on the lack of offense, saying “It was a great game if you love defense”.

Despite shooting just 3 of 10, Melvin Ejim played a big role off the bench in matching Senegal’s energy. Ejim finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds in just 20 minutes of action. Tristan Thompson pulled down 5 of his 10 rebounds at the offensive end, but was limited to just 7 points in over 30 minutes.

Tyler-Ennis-Canadian-Basketball-Team-Canada-vs-Senegal

Canada’s Tyler Ennis 11 points, 3 assists – Canada vs. Senegal 2016

The star of the game though was unquestionably Senegal’s Maurice Ndour, who put up 16 points, 10 rebounds along with 6 blocks.

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With the crowd filling up late in anticipation of the 2nd game featuring the Philippines, Senegal was given an extra boost as the local fans rooted on the underdogs helping them trim the lead to a single point with just 3 minutes left.

Cory Joseph though came up big late once again as he extended the lead back to 3, despite the extra attention sent his way throughout the game by the tough Senegal defense. He still managed to put up 13 points to lead Canada, including 3 big free throws down the stretch.
Senegal did have a chance to take a lead with just under 30 seconds remaining, but their insistence on shooting 3’s hurt them yet again.Tyler Ennis thought his team would benefit from the close contest against Senegal, saying that “it was great for us…just having one that was close under the belt and we really had to seal the game at the end”.With the win, Canada clinches first in their group and likely avoids a semi-final match up with France in the process. Canada now has two days off before taking on the loser of tomorrow’s France/New Zealand game on Saturday.
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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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