Caracas, Venezuela – (BasketballBuzz) – Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) behind a fluid offense and solid team play, put together their most complete game of the summer by routing Jamaica 85-64 to open-up the 2013 FIBA Americas Championships with a much needed win.
Canada wasted no time against a familiar opponent jumping out to an early 13-2 lead and never looked back as Cory Joseph (Pickering, Ont.) kept the Canadian offense moving the ball to lead four players in double-figures. Joseph put together his best effort for Canada since his debut a year ago, missing out on a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.
Brady Heslip (Burlington, Ont.) caused Jamaica fitz all night with 17 points off the bench on 6-of-10 shooting and Levon Kendall (Vancouver, B.C) was nearly perfect with 13 points and 8 rebounds on 6-of-7 shots.
Tristan Thompson (Brampton, Ont.) rebounded from slow first half and finished with a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds as Canada out-muscled Team Jamaica 42-30 on the glass.
Canada took a 19-14 lead after the first quarter, stretched to 17 and comfortably led 42-25 at half-time thanks to zero turnovers and 13 assists (7 by Cory Joseph.)
Tristan Thompson (NBA/Cleveland} came to life in the third quarter with back to back baskets and Andy Rautins capped off a 9-0 run with his third three-pointer of the contest and Canada grabbed its largest lead at 51-27.
Adrien Utter (14 points, 6 rebounds), Jerome Jordan (12 points, 8 rebounds) and Durant Scott (12 points 2/4 triples) kept Jamaica in the game, helping the Caribbean nation, (whose roots are deeply embedded in Canada’s team), rally from a 24-point deficit in the third quarter with a 17-1 run to trim the lead down to single digits at 52-45 with 1:33 to go in the quarter.
From there its was all Canada as Cory Joseph (NBA/Spurs) closed out the quarter on a personal 8-0 run, capped by a three-pointer, and Canada led 60-50. The run extended in the fourth-quarter as Kendall and Heslip (NCAA/Baylor Bears) continued their brilliant shooting nights with seven more points to cap a off a much needed 15-0 run between quarters on their way to 21 point victory.
Canada started the game shooting 4-of-6 and finished a healthy 32-of-71 (45%). Jamaica who failed to generate a single turnover in the first-half got back in the game by forcing nine second half-turnovers, turning them into 14 points (8 fast break), but only shot 22-64 (34%) for the game.
The win snaps Canada’s four-game losing streak after failing to come out on the winning side at the 2013 Tuto Marchand Cup and improved to 3-0 overall this summer against Jamaica. Jay Triano and his staff will now prepare his troops for a tough match up against Puerto Rico, who is coming off a slim 78-71 victory over Canada in the opener of the Marchand Cup.
Canada knocks off Sweden qualifies for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Canada’s women’s national basketball team is headed for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Team Canada picked-up it’s second victory of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, defeating Team Sweden 80-50 to earn their third straight trip to the summer games.
Natalie Achonwa nearly perfect 16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists performance anchored a dominate Canadian offensive attack that featured four players in double-figures. The Indiana Fever power forward knocked-down 8-of-9 field goals in just 17 minutes.
Shaina Pellington was outstanding with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists. Kia Nurse, Canada’s other WNBA player finished with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and Miranda Ayim added with 10 points and 3 rebounds.
All players contributed to win — logging at least five minutes and recording a stat on the scoresheet. 18 year old Laeticia Amihere made her official senior team debut — scoring 8 quick points in games’ final 8 minutes.
The victory will send Canada to their six (7) Olympic games. Team Canada also qualified in 1976, 1984 1996, 2000, 2012, 2016 — earning a country best fourth-place finish at the 1984 Olympiad in Los Angeles, California.
Canada becomes the sixth (6) team to qualify for the games — eight (8) gold medalist, United States, China, France, Nigeria and tournament hosts Japan have also earned there spot. Six more teams will make-up the 12-team showcase. The 2020 games will run from July 24 – August 09.
Canada beats Belgium now one win away from Tokyo 2020
Canada’s senior women’s national team kicked-off the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifiers with a hard fought 61-56 over tournament hosts Belgium.
Needing only two victories to earn a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games — the Canadians came out swinging against 2019 WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meeseeman
Canada, ranked no. 4 in the latest FIBA World rankings trailed for less then two (2) minutes before taking control of game mid-away through the second-quarter — pulling ahead for game-high 16-point lead at 30-14 in the late stages of the first-half. Behind a terrific and supportive home crowd, combined with sloppy last 1:48 minute by Canada allowed the Belgium team to close the half on 9-0 run — trimming the Canadian lead to 30-23 at half-time.
Kia Nurse scored a game-high 19 points, dished out 3 assists and captured 3 steals. Kayla Alexander had an outstanding game, banging inside for 12 points and 3 rebounds. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe also contributed with 7 points, 6 rebounds and Shaina Pellinton came-off the bench — adding 7 points and 4 rebounds. Natalie Achonwa was effective on both ends of the court providing a spark with 6 points and 3 rebounds.
Canada outscored Belgium 26-8 in the paint and showcased it’s depth, scoring 24 points off the bench.
Belgium was paced by Emma Meeseeman’s team-high 14 points, 6 rebounds. Kim Mestdagh put in an all-around effort with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
Canada (1-0) will take on a Sweden (0-1) in their upcoming game for an opportunity to qualify for their third straight Summer Olympic games.