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Jermaine Anderson is Canada’s Mr. Indispensable

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If anyone is looking for a true hero of Canadian basketball in recent times, they should look in the direction of the unheralded Jermaine Anderson.

He is, perhaps, consigned to a national team career of anonymity because fans and the scribes will always remember the man who played point guard before him.

How many times, even after playing well in big wins for Canada, has Anderson heard Steve Nash’s name?

It even happened after Anderson’s finest hour in a Canada jersey last summer at the FIBA Americas Championship.

Anderson had led all scorers with 21 points and fired the Canadians to an 80-76 upset of the Dominicans, a victory that clinched a spot at the FIBA World Championship.

Yet for one reporter, the question had to be asked of Canada coach Leo Rautins.

Will Steve Nash return and play in Turkey?

“Steve Nash has had an open invitation,” Rautins said.

“Anytime he says he’d like to play for Canada, the door is wide open and we’d love to have him.

“But I don’t want to use this opportunity here to talk about Steve. I’d rather talk about Jermaine Anderson, who made the plays, who helped this team get to the World Championship.

“Let’s not forget about who we have.”

Evolution of a point guard

Anderson is 27 and hails from Toronto.

He played college basketball at Fordham University in New York before embarking on a professional career that has seen him compete in Germany, Poland and this season with Cedevita in Zagreb, Croatia.

While Nash plays in the NBA, Anderson toils in the EuroChallenge and the Adriatic League.

Nash seems to have closed the door on his Canada career, but for Anderson it’s the exact opposite.

“Every summer I come out is like a blessing to me,” he said to FIBA.Com, “to have this opportunity and to learn the position as I go.

“I was not a natural point guard.

“Each summer I had to get better, adjust to the international game – the fact that I’m here, I’m very thankful.”

Rautins has marveled at Anderson’s ability to grow into the playmaker position.

“Jermaine’s been great,” Rautins said to FIBA.com.

“He was a shooting guard that became a one for us.

“Every year, he’s like a sponge.”

Anderson’s been a great example for the young players.

“He’ll do whatever it takes,” Rautins said.

“He wants to get better.

“I have nothing to say but great things about him.

“Every summer he is better, smarter.

“He’s a great shooter. I’ll never say no to a shot he takes because he takes good shots and makes them.

“He tries to do all the things a point guard does but I don’t want him to forget who he is, and he can be a great shooter.”

Must Read:  Toronto Raptors give Canadian PG Myck Kabongo another crack at NBA opportunity

The wins that matter

There was unbridled joy for all of the teams that won Quarter-Finals last summer in San Juan.

It meant the pressure was off.

The number one goal had been to reach Turkey and for those sides that reached the semis, it was mission accomplished.

During last summer’s tournament, when Canada were struggling and not looking like a team that might reach Turkey, someone told Anderson to keep his chin up, that he’d done well on numerous occasions for Canada.

“I had some great games,” Anderson said, “but until you get to an Olympics or a World Championship, you’ve done nothing in my eyes internationally.”

Anderson thought Canada could have reached the Beijing Games but they didn’t play well enough at the 2008 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Instead, Croatia, Greece and Germany took the three qualifying spots and advanced to China.

Reaching the FIBA World Championship in Turkey looked even harder when the Dominican Republic showed up in San Juan with NBA players Al Horford, Francisco Garcia and Charlie Villanueva.

Everyone assumed they would join Argentina, Brazil and Puerto Rico as the four sides to advance to Turkey.

Anderson had other ideas.

In the four-point triumph over the Dominicans in the last eight, he buried five of eight shots from long range.

He also had five assists in the game.

“He made some unbelievable plays against the Dominican Republic in the Quarter-Finals,” Rautins said.

Count your blessings

Anderson is in the prime of his career.

He says that the game has enriched his life.

“It’s opened up so many doors,” he said.

“It’s life. Besides family and God, basketball has done so much for me. I just love the game, love the opportunity to play for my country and hope to have the opportunity as long as I can.”

This summer, Anderson and Canada will go up against Spain, France, Lithuania, Lebanon and New Zealand in Group D of the FIBA World Championship.

Some will dismiss Canada’s chances, but the team has learned how to fight.

Rautins likes to go back and think about the hard times.

“At the world qualifiers, when we got eliminated,” Rautins said, “Rock (Anderson) said to me he had been watching Germany play on TV and said it took them 12 years to get there (to the Olympics) with Dirk Nowitzki.

“He said, ‘Coach, we’re not going to give up. We’re going to get there.”

He was right.

Via Fiba.com

FIBA

Canada Look To Take Gold In The Gold Coast Commenwealth After Buzzer Beating New Zealand

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Canuck Touch This

“Hotter than July” like a Stevie album may be the forever forecast in the Gold Coast of Australia right now, but after icing the semi-finals of the 2018 Commenwealth Games like birthday cakes, Canada look to bring a cold front down under. So we hope you brought your big coats from earlier this years Pyeonchang Winter Olympics. Because you’ll need them. Its time to zip and wrap it all up.

Beating the Aussie neighbouring New Zealand 88-86 at the buzzer last night, even the fear striking pre-game ritual of the haka in all it’s glory couldn’t stop the Canucks (like the hack-a-Shaq on them rare nights when the diesel was all fuelled up from the free-throw line). Because Mamadou Gueye had the sauce and the dressing, as he threw up the prayer off the glass and the basketball Gods banked an answer. His shot may have looked like one of 10 year veteran turned Laker, Andre Ingram, but it was the right pitch and strike like ‘Dre throwing the first one at Dodger Stadium the same night last. No foul ball or referee call. Far flung like a hot potato with seconds to spare in the games oven. Despite throwing it over the coat cloaked defender from way behind the line with his outstetched and contured body looking like Gueye was kick hip-checked, it was all cash off the glass as he stunted the Tall Blacks for a whole continent declaring, “We The North” like the 6.

It hasn’t been this nasty since Nash saw red maple and white, flying the flag. Captain Canada we salute you!

Must Read:  British Intelligence

Making up for the Canadian womens national team, semi-final upset to number 21 world ranked Great Britain, 65-53 behind 20 from G.B.’s Rachael Vanderwal. Canada overcame a NZ off the ropes rally from 21 down and brought the knockout punch in a game that could have all gone due south like that dog Diefenbaker against the Kiwis. Now all that stands in the way of gold in the Gold Coast is host nation Australia, who sucker-beat previously unbeaten Scotland (who now take on New Jealand for the bronze podium position) 103-46, behind 17 from star Jesse Wagstaff. Not to mention the country who thrased Canada by 40 points in the pools. No shallow feat staring in the upset waters of what could be defeat.

But revenge is always a dish best served cold. No matter how long the games been on the grill.

Time to lower the boom.

Here it comes…

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FIBA

Three-point barrage helps Canada route Bahamas 113-67 FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

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Brady Heslip Three Pointer Canada Routes Bahamas FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Team Canada picked up a convincing 113-67 win over Bahamas to improve to 3-1 in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers zone. Behind a three-point barrage and unselfish play the Canadians reached the century mark for the second straight game and secured a berth in the second-round of the qualifying tournament.

Brady Heslip once again led Canada in the scoring column with a game-high 19 points, on 5-of-9 shooting from the outside in just 24 minutes. The Burlington, Ontario native drilled three triples in the opening quarter to help ignite the Canadian offense that saw a total of six players hitting double figures all Canadians scoring at least 3 points. Melvin Ejim added 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, Thomas Scrubb continued to show his versatility with 10 points, 7 rebounds and a game-high 6 assists while Kyle Landry contributed well with 14 points and 8 rebounds.

Melvin Ejim Three Point Barrage Helps Canada Route Bahamas 113 67 Fiba Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

Melvin Ejim Helps Canada Route Bahamas 113 67 Fiba Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

Canada buried a total of 16 three-pointers on 34 attempts (44%),  dished out 26 assists and pounded the glass, beating the Bahamas 47-31.

Through four qualification games Canada is averaging 100 points per game while shooting 515 from the floor and 39% from threes. Brady Heslip currently ranks fifth in scoring with 18 points per game and leads everybody with 20 made triples.

The Road to the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup continues for Canada as they will return back home for the third and final window of the first-round of qualification process.  The Canadians will look to avenge their only of of the competition when they to face Group D leaders and undefeated Dominican Republic (4-0) in Toronto on Friday, June 29 and the Virgin Islands (1-3) in the Nations Capital of Ottawa on  Monday, July 2nd 2018

Must Read:  British Intelligence

The top three teams in the four Americas Zone qualifiers groups advance to round 2 with the top 7 from the second-round advancing the 2019 World Cup in China.

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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 at the FIBA AmeriCup and improves the Canadians to 2-1 in Group D of the Americas World Cup qualifiers. Up next for the Canadians is another road test against the Bahamas (0-3).

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