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FIBA OQT Preview: Canada looks to end the Tall Blacks “Haka” momentum

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FIBA OQT Preview: Canada looks to end the Tall Blacks "Haka" momentum

New Zealand hasn’t had the luxury of an NBA player suiting up for them since the newly appointed Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks rode the pine in the league for much of his career. Despite the lack of familiar names on the roster however, their early tournament results indicate this won’t be a walk in the park for the Canadians.
After New Zealand gave the tournament favorites from France a big scare in the final game of the opening round but eventually came up short, the loss sets them up for a semi-final match-up with Canada on Saturday.

The tall blacks have come out of the gate strong in both games thus far, perhaps in part due to their intimidating haka performance before tip-off. They were the better team against France and the Andre Blatche-led Phillipines for much of their contests as they led by double digits in the 2nd half of both games.

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The trouble they have had closing games though is why they will be playing Canada on Saturday. They have been victimized by 2nd half runs of 18-8 and 22-2 against the hosts and France respectively.

 

New Zealand Tall Blacks Basketball Haka 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifier

New Zealand Tall Blacks Basketball Haka 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifier

Without a true “go to” guy, New Zealand relies most on guards Tai and Cory Webster in key moments. Younger brother Tai has shown great potential running the team despite only just finishing his sophomore season with the Nebraska Cornhuskers of the NCAA’s Big Ten Conference and being in his first appearance on the national team. Tai will likely have a tough time going up against the more experienced Cory Joseph and Tyler Ennis.

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Canada’s biggest issue may be containing New Zealand’s active rebounding, something that hurt the red and white against Senegal. France was a surprising -12 on the offensive boards against the Kiwis, with 2 tall blacks combining for 14 on their own.

Canada will need to avoid the 3 point drought that plagued them against Senegal, as the same fate for France had them 0-14 from beyond the arc and down 10 to the tall blacks at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Catch the game at 6:30am EST on Saturday with the final set for Sunday at 9am EST, both on TSN.

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FIBA

Canada vs. USA focal point of loaded Pre-FIBA World Cup series

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Rj Barrett Canada Vs Usa Nigeria Australia New Zeland Highlight Loaded Fiba Schedule
Photo: FIBA

Canada’s senior’s men’s basketball team will take on the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand and Nigeria in a loaded preseason FIBA World Cup schedule.

For many years Canadian’s have been waiting for the day that Canada’s golden basketball generation faced off against the mighty USA Dream Team.

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Well, wait no longer, and bookmark Monday, August 26, 2019 your calendar.

Part of a five-game per-world cup series in Australia — Team Canada will wrap it’s six-game FIBA World Cup exhibition schedule with a much anticipated match-up against American’s.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to compete and gain familiarity against some of the top teams in the world in preparation for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019,” said Rowan Barrett, Canada Basketball General Manager, Men’s High Performance. “The USA has been the gold standard in FIBA basketball for several years so this will be a great opportunity for our program. In addition, having the chance to play tough road games against Australia and New Zealand will be a valuable experience for our team on the road to the World Cup.”

Dwight Powell Canada Basketball Canada Vs Usa Focal Point Loaded Pre Fiba World Cup Schedule
Dwight Powell showing off the big guns for Team Canada – Photo: FIBA

Canada’s Senior Men’s National team (SMNT) will kick-off it’s pre-world cup festivities on home-soil, on Friday, August 9, 2019 against a rising Nigerian D’ Tigers (10-2, 1st place African Qualifiers) national side in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

From there it’s off to foreign territory as the Canadians get acquainted with the Australia Boomers — a 2019 FIBA World Cup Group of death foe and commonwealth member in a two-game series in Perth on August 16th and 17th.

Previously known for the their alternative nickname — “The Road Warriors” — for their lack of international FIBA home games — Team Canada will shift their attention to a familiar foe with a two-game series against the New Zealand Tall Blacks.

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According to the FIBA World Cup draw and if everything works out as planed Canada vs. USA could also become a reality in a potential heavyweight quarter-finals match-up.

With World Cup medal aspirations on the line and a 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics bid up for grabs, Canada will look to field a studded 12-men roster not only capable of fulling the federations 2020 vision of becoming a global basketball powerhouse but eventually reminding our border neighbors and media pundits that “soft and basketball” will no longer be acceptable in the basketball sentence.

Not exactly considered the cream-of the crop international tournaments — Canada’s senior’s men’s basketball team last knocked-off the United States of America 111-108 at the 2015 Pan-Am games in Toronto.

A 2005 FIBA Americas Group A win — culminated by a dominated 28 point, 9-rebound performance from Denham Brown lifted Canada 92-76 past the USA on August, 25, in San Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Canada knocked off the Americans 85-77 in the semi-finals of 1983 Summer Universiade games in Edmonton — beating a star-studded USA (Karl Malone, Charles Barkley) team in the semi-finals.

Team Canada FIBA World Cup international exhibition series

  • Canada Basketball vs. Nigeria D’ Tigers – August, 9th 2019 – MTS Place
  • Canada Basketball vs. Australia Boomers – August 16, 2019 – RAC Arena, Perth
  • Canada Basketball vs. Australia Boomers – August 17, 2019 – RAC Arena, Perth  
  • Canada Basketball vs. New Zealand Tall Blacks – August 20, 2019, Quaycentre, Sydney
  • Canada Basketball vs. New Zealand Tall Blacks – August 21, 2019, Quaycentre, Sydney
  • Canada Basketball vs. USA Basketball – August 26, 2019, Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney†

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FIBA

Triano steps aside as Canadian national team coach

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Jay Triano Olympic Dot Ca

Jay Triano has officially stepped down as the head coach of Canada’s senior men’s national team.

Canada Basketball made the announcement this morning, confirming media reports that circulated on Sunday.

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“I can’t thank Jay enough for all he has done for basketball in Canada,” said Glen Grunwald, president and CEO of Canada Basketball, in a statement.  

“As both a coach and player, Jay is a Canadian icon and has played a major role in the development of basketball within our country and we will forever be grateful for his contributions. 

Jay Triano 2 Olympic Dot CA
Jay Triano is among the most accomplished coaches in Canadian history. Photo: Canadian Olympic Committee

“After speaking with Jay, I’m hopeful we can find a role where he can continue to contribute to Canada Basketball in the future.”

Triano is the first Canadian-born and Canadian-trained coach to work in the NBA, starting as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors in 2002 and later promoted to head coach.

He is currently the lead assistant coach with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

As head coach of Canada’s national team from 1998 to 2004, Triano led the team to a seventh-place finish at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia.

Canada has not returned to the Olympics since then, but it figures to be a contender to play at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Triano returned as head coach in 2012, guiding the club to a pair of victories during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.

As a player, Triano served with Canada’s national team from 1977 to 1988 and was team captain for the final seven years of his tenure.

He was elected to the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

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Roy Rana Canada's National Basketball Team Coach Sitting FIBA Qualifiers Pointing
Roy Rana 2019 FIBA Americas Qualifiers – Photo: FIBA

Ryerson University head coach Roy Rana is among three other candidates being granted interviews to replace Triano, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.

The other candidates are Gord Herbert, who played for Canada at the 1984 Olympics; and Ettore Messina, an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs.

A final decision is expected by March 31.

Multiple reports say Triano cited “personal reasons” for taking his name out of the running, but he did not elaborate.

Team Canada’s next major test will be the 2019 FIBA World Cup, starting Aug. 31 in China.

Triano steps aside at a high point in Canadian basketball, with dozens of players in the NBA and at elite NCAA schools, including Barrett’s son R.J. Barrett, a Duke University standout who is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

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