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Montreal to host FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters

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Michael Linklater Montreal To Host FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters
Linklater one of Canada's best three-on-three players, guiding Team Canada to a sixth-place finish at the FIBA World Cup in 2018. FIBA Photo

Montreal is set to host one of international streetball’s most prestigious tournaments in each of the next three years.

The FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters will make its Montreal debut from Sept. 7-8, 2019, with an agreement to return in 2020 and 2021.

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“Canada has become a hotbed for 3×3 and we are thrilled about the city of Montreal’s decision to host a FIBA 3×3 World Tour in 2019,” said Alex Sanchez, managing director of FIBA 3×3, in a statement.

Montreal becomes the third Canadian city to host a FIBA 3×3 event and the first in Quebec.

Saskatoon has hosted a FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters since 2017, and Edmonton hosted a 3×3 Challenger event for the first time in 2018.

Canada’s men’s national team finished sixth at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in 2018, and will be vying to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where the sport is set to make its Olympic debut.

“It is just fitting that our 3×3 stars visit the home of the 1976 Summer Olympics, just one year before the game’s Olympic debut in Tokyo,” said Sanchez. FIBA 3×3 is inspired by several forms of streetball played around the world, and is billed as the world’s “number one urban team sport.”

Canada 3x3 Basketball Montreal To Host Fiba 3x3 World Tour Masters

Canada has become a hotbed for FIBA 3×3, led by former University of Saskatchewan standout Michael Linklater (far left). FIBA Photo

Canada’s best-known player is Michael Linklater, a five-foot-10 guard from Saskatoon who represented Canada at the 2018 World Cup, along with Michael Lieffers, Jermaine Bucknor and Steve Sir.

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Linklater previously starred at the University of Saskatchewan, where he led the Huskies to their first and only CIS/U Sports national championship in 2010, with Lieffers as his teammate.

Bucknor and Sir both played professionally in various international leagues and are originally from Edmonton.

Teams can qualify for the Tokyo Olympics by finishing fourth or higher in the FIBA 3×3 Federation Ranking, through an Olympic qualifying tournament, or through a Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

“Montreal and 3×3 have so much in common: dynamic, urban and multicultural,” said Sanchez. “We are looking forward to an exciting event and a genuine urban culture party in this iconic city next year!”

More information about the expanded FIBA 3×3 World Tour, including several new locations, is expected soon.

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FIBA

Canada draws Group of Death 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup

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Cory Joseph Canada Basketball Draws Group Of Death 2019 Fiba World Cup

Canada’s path to a 2019 FIBA basketball World Cup medal and hopes of a 2020 Olympic berth took a serious blow prior to the start of the games as No. 23 Team Canada was drawn into the group of death — alongside global powerhouses No. 6 Lithuania, No. 11 Australia, and No. 37 Senegal.

2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Groups

2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Groups

For Canada to have a shot at getting to the podium they will have to finish in the top two spots of Group H to advance to second round of the tournament — where the top 16 teams will be split into four new groups (Groups I, J, K, L). If it reaches that stage Team Canada will once again have to finish in the top two to advance to the quarter-finals.

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Canada’s road to the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics is a complex and tough process — given FIBA’s decision to make the World Cup apart of the qualification process. Seven spots are currently up for grabs at FIBA’s flagship event and with hosts Japan earning an automatic entry the room for error is minuscule.

To reach the Olympics, Canada will have to finish as one of the top two teams from the seven team America’s region that features the world’s number one squad in the United States of America alongside traditional mainstays Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Venezula and Puerto Rico.

If Canada is unable to secure a spot as one of the two top America’s region teams, they will hope to be amongst the top 16 teams at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup where they will be granted automatic qualification to a last chance tournament taking place next summer at a yet to be determined locations. If unable to finish in the top 16, Canada’s last hope would be one of the last eight countries that FIBA would invite for one of the last-chance qualifier tournaments.

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Therefore, if Canada has any hopes of qualifying for the 12-team 2020 Summer Olympics via the World Cup they will need to advance from Group H one as top two teams, failure to advance in the premilinary round will automatically put Canada’s hopes at the mercy FIBA via the invitation tournament only.

Should Canada reach the second-round they will be placed in the newly formed Group L, alongside Group G winner and runner-up — potentially setting up another group of death with No. 3 France, No. 11 Germany, No. 11 Australia or No. 6 Lithuania.

To make matters worse for the Canadians, they have been pooled on the same half of the draw as the United States — which would mean a potential quarter-finals match-up between the two neighbouring nations, if Canada can somehow get there.

If the Canadians can reach the quarter-finals there is a good chance they alongside the USA would be last two standing Americas teams — thus earning automatic berth to Tokyo 2020.

As evident, by the World Cup draw and given FIBA’s recent changes it’s clearly going to be a tough road for the Canadians to fullfill their 2020 vision of becoming a global basketball powerhouse.

Canada opens up the World Cup against Australia on Saturday August 31st and will take on Lithuania on two days rest on Monday September 2nd beforing concluding Group H action against Senegal on Wednesday September 4th, 2019. All of Canada’s preliminary round games will be played in Dongguan, China

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FIBA

Kia Nurse wins Australian pro championship

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Kia Nurse Wins Australian Pro Championship

Kia Nurse of Hamilton, Ont., finished second in MVP voting as she helped the University of Canberra to a WNBL Championship today in Australia.

Nurse, a six-foot guard, had 12 points and three assists in a 93-73 victory over the Adelaide Lightning in a series-clinching Game 3 at home in AIS Arena.

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“Thank you for giving me an opportunity to play with an amazing group of women,” Nurse said on Twitter after the win.

This was the latest in a series of high-profile achievements for the former University of Connecticut standout.

Nurse is coming off a solid rookie season in the WNBA, where she averaged 9.1 points per game with the New York Liberty.

New York finished out of the playoffs, and Nurse transitioned to the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) during the offseason.

Many WNBA players spend the offseason in other pro leagues, in part because salaries are low.

The average WNBA player makes less than $72,000 according to the Canadian Press.

Nurse had a larger role with Canberra, roughly averaging 18 points, five rebounds and two assists per game.

Canberra’s 2-1 series win over Adelaide gave the club its eighth WNBL title.

Nurse finished second to Canberra captain Kelsey Griffin in voting for the Rachael Sporn Grand Final MVP award, according to CP.

At 22, Nurse is arguably Canada’s best-known women’s player, thanks in part to her long-running involvement with Team Canada at international tournaments.

She led Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and a seventh-place finish at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

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Nurse also won two NCAA titles with UConn, where she was also American Athletic Conference (AAC) Freshman of the year in 2015.

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