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

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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.

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-Basketball-FIBA

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.

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.

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.

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, QC Free Agent
Anthony Bennett

Forward

6’8″

Toronto, ON Northern Arizona Suns (G-League)
Grandy Glaze

Centre

6’7″

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

Guard

6’4″

Aylmer, QC Austin Spurs (G-League)
Brady Heslip

Guard

6’2″

Burlington, ON Trabzonspor (Turkey)
Kaza Kajami-Keane

Guard

6’1″

Ajax, ON Raptors 905 (G-League)
Owen Klassen

Centre

6’10”

Kingston, ON PAOK (Greece)
Dyshawn Pierre

Forward

6’6″

Whitby, ON Banco di Srd (Italy)
Xavier Rathan-Mayes

Guard

6’4″

Scarborough, ON Westchester 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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