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Gasol & The Spanish Bulls Stampede the FIBA World Cup

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My American friends aren’t going to like me for this one but my pick to win the 2014 FIBA World Cup is Spain.

It’s not just because they are the home nation. It’s not just because as great as Coach K.’s Team U.S.A. look they’re still missing a LeBron, Kevin (Durant and now/or Love), Carmelo and Kobe. It’s not just because heartbroken former FIFA World Cup soccer winners Spain lost out eaaarly this year in Brazil. It’s not just that as skilled as the other nations are, from Brazil to Puerto Rico, from South America and beyond it’s only Spain who are just that close or even an edge ahead of the dream of U.S.A.

It might have something to do with the fact that right now the Spanish national side and America are neck and neck in a 4-zip sweep. it might have something to do with the fact that this team make for an elite, Lakers/Celtics like match-up on an international scale every-time they duke it out from the World Championships to the Olympics. It might just be because when it comes to roundball’s having FIBA instead of Spading stitched on them, Spain reigns supreme as the matador to U.S.A’s bull. It might just be because World Cup’s are more sought after in Europe, no matter how much Tim Howard tried to save it.

It’s probably more like this team is stacked…and we do mean stacked. Not bite,-size, economy Pringles stacked, but oh wait I forgot they had one of last years NBA difference makers Serge Ibaka stacked. Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez big-name stacked. With the defence beating speed of Jose Calderon and the buzzer beating shot of Juan Carlos Navarro. Then of course there’s the big-three. There’s former NBA-next/Minnesota Timberwolves future Ricky Rubio given the keys and he’s finally old enough license to run wild and display the skillful game that got him all this attention straight out of Europe in the first place. Then there’s the brothers in arms, strong-holding the paint with a flair of skill. Marc and Pau Gasol. The kind of family-bond, teammate true partnership the Lakers wish they never lost when they traded Marc’s draft right for Pau. the kind of brotherhood the Memphis Grizzlies wish they always had with their two defining big-men of the last two separate decades.

The new Spanish Bull, by way of Chicago having the second storm of his career in the Windy City in Pau Gasol. One of Europe’s all-time greatest big men who people keep sleeping on. It’s time to wake up to all those championship credentials foreign and domestic. It’s not just this guy however. This team is actually a team and feels like something on a club level and this unity, this court connection is while Gasol will this time face off with another U.S. teammate in Derrick Rose and truly bloom. Basketball is still an American sport, but when it comes to Europe it goes through Spain figuratively and literally. Maybe that’s why they’ll lift the cup.

Or it may just be that European three-point line…

FIBA

Canada blasts US Virgin Islands FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

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Canada Basketball Blasts Virgin Islands Fiba Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

Led by a trio of veterans Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) blasted the Virgin Islands 118-89 in  FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.

Veteran Canadian forward and former Iowa State Cyclones standout Melvin Ejim returned to the Canadian National lineup for the first time since the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament and poured in a game-high 28 points, 8 rebounds the 29 point route. Sharpshooter Brady Heslip continued his stellar play for Canada in Qualifying phase by adding 22 points including 5 rebound and 5 assists. Anthony Bennett also had a solid outing with 13 points on 5 rebounds.

The 118 points scored marks the most points scored by a Canada’s Senior men team since the Canadians hung a 112-92 victory over Puerto Rico in 2015. With the win Canada avenges an embarrassing 83-71 to the Virgin Islands less than 12 months ago and improves the Canadians to 2-1 in Group D of the Americas World Cup qualifiers. Up next for the Canadians is a tough road test against the Bahamas.

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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.

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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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