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One win short: Canada’s Rio Olympic Dreams Squashed by France

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In a game where Canada hung in with France until the final minutes, France’s NBA vets stepped up with big buckets at key moments to send their team to Rio with a 83-74 win.

Canada again was led by Cory Joseph, who had 10 first quarter points that helped give the team a much needed jolt of confidence against the far more experienced French.
They used that experience to pick apart Canada early, scoring 30 first quarter points on 68 percent shooting. The Canadians got back to their defensive ways in the 2nd though, giving up only 6 points until Boris Diaw hit a big 3 at the end of the quarter to break a 36-36 tie.

That big shot was part of a 12-2 France run over halftime, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish from there.

While Canada shot better from 3 this game, they were still only 3 of 15 outside of Melvin Ejim who hit all four of his attempts. Ejim finished with 19 points, a beneficiary of the extra attention France gave Tristan Thompson who was limited to just 8 on 6 shot attempts.

France’s guards carved up the Canadian defence all day, with Parker and former Raptor Nando De Colo scoring 48 of France’s 83 on just 26 shots. Parker did his best to take advantage of mismatches against the likes of Thompson, Ejim and Bennett in the 2nd half. However, he also made the big plays late to close the game against Ennis and Joseph.

Canada continued to fight throughout the 2nd half, as France looked poised to pull away at times. With just over 3 minutes left, Canada cut the lead to just 3 but Parker’s assault continued from there and Canada couldn’t match it.

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Coach Triano reflected after the game on his team’s tireless efforts both in Manila and in their warmup games that included a win against Rio-bound Croatia:

“I’m very proud of the way we fought, not just this game, but all tournament and throughout the summer….I appreciate the sacrifices that our players made. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t get a win and have these guys rewarded with becoming Olympians.”

While Joseph and Ennis did combine for 10 of Canada’s 21 turnovers, it was the team’s lack of shooting that ultimately cost them once again. Aside from the consistent trio of Thompson, Ejim and Joseph, Canada has struggled each of the 4 games to find another scorer they could count on from start to finish. Despite flashes of good play from the Scrubb brothers in an attempt to make up for the disappearance of Brady Heslip, they ultimately couldn’t put together a consistent shooting effort in Manila.

Canada also had to play the unofficial role of “road team” in their last 3 games, as the crowd noticeably got behind the underdogs from New Zealand and Senegal at key moments. The local fans’ admiration for Tony Parker meant that France was their choice to cheer for on this night despite Canada being the underdog. The support was noted by French coach Vincent Collet after the game.

Canada will now have to wait 3 years until their next meaningful international competition at the basketball world cup, as FIBA reshuffles its competition schedule. They’ll have to wait until Tokyo in 2020 to break what will be a two decade Olympic drought.

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.

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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, QCFree Agent
Anthony Bennett

Forward

6’8″

Toronto, ONNorthern Arizona Suns (G-League)
Grandy Glaze

Centre

6’7″

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

Guard

6’4″

Aylmer, QCAustin Spurs (G-League)
Brady Heslip

Guard

6’2″

Burlington, ONTrabzonspor (Turkey)
Kaza Kajami-Keane

Guard

6’1″

Ajax, ONRaptors 905 (G-League)
Owen Klassen

Centre

6’10”

Kingston, ONPAOK (Greece)
Dyshawn Pierre

Forward

6’6″

Whitby, ONBanco di Srd (Italy)
Xavier Rathan-Mayes

Guard

6’4″

Scarborough, ONWestchester 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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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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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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