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Spain’s Struggles In Rio Continue Against Olympic Host

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Spain's Struggles In Rio Continue Against Olympic Host

All this basketball out of season. We must be dreaming. Right now between your T.V., tablet and smartphone you need more screens than ‘Minority Report’ to keep up with all this Olympic Games action.

And as expected Team USA (men and women) are making South America their own in Rio 2016. Even if nations like the Peoples Republic of China and Venezeula are looking competitive, like playing NBA 2K for the first time they just can’t keep it close. It’s like all the sliders are set to 100, even without champion LeBron and MVP Curry. In the first day of the five rings games the U.S. beat China by their biggest margin ever since the M.J. Dream Team of Barcelona ’92 and in their first week, veteran leader and multiple, consecutive Olympian statesman Carmelo Anthony just passed his Jordan Brand boss Michael in total points during these four yearly contests.

Many people believe the only country in this worldwide NBA heavy games that could possibly stop the U.S. charge is the big name laden Spain. But so far the European nation is 2 and nothing…and not in the way they’d like. Maybe it’s the absence of Memphis Grizzlies All-Star Marc Gasol upfront. Maybe the fact that his paint brother and newly acquired San Antonio Spur Pau is still a bag of nerves after freezing his sperm before travelling to Rio De Janerio…a place many sports stars like golfers Jordan Speith and Rory MclRoy refuse to travel to because of the deadly Zika virus. Or maybe it’s the fact that the Spanish teams coaches play writing dry erase looked more like a kids Etch a Sketch. Maybe that’s what shook them up.

Despite starting the game and last nights shooting with an airball, Pau Gasol was almost perfect in the post (13 points) with his inside post play. But on a DeAndre Jordan night from the line (5-12) he missed two clutch freebies from the line, leading Brazil to take a 65-64 lead with just a shot clock remaining in the game…and that was all the Olympian Basketball Gods wrote in stone.

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Spain may have the likes of Pau, his former Spanish Bull teammate Nikola Mirotic, Minnesota Timberwolf Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez and Roudriguez but so far they have made little splash in the beaches of Rio like the Golden State Warrior brother who has been more “Clay” Thompson going 1 for 11 from the field so far on the floor. It’s still early days however and until these guys see red they are still one of the favourites in fanfare and how they should fare.

Recently re-signed Los Angeles Laker-who used to play for Barcelona’s basketball club like Laker legend Pau-Marcelo Huertas lead Brazil’s court carnival with a parade of 11 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Dominant in a game which saw him match-up with Spains new fellow Laker reserve Jose Calderon. To think these guys have to play behind last years rookie and sophompre D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson in Hollywood. It looks like the post-Kobe changing of the guard in California is in safe hands.

Huertas put the hurt on Spain alongside the NBA muscle of Nene and the underrated, quick-jabbing, euro-step pace setter Leonardo Barbosa. So much so that the flash of Ricky Rubio was reduced to just 3 points and one hell of a De Janeiro tan. If Spain want to even make it to next weeks quarters than they have to pull something out the cape against Nigeria. Whereas host nation Brazil who now own more than just the tournaments hottest, lime neon highlighting jerseys look to continue this streak against Croatia.

Holding the torch its time for them to keep the flame lit.

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FIBA

Triano steps aside as Canadian national team coach

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Jay Triano Olympic Dot Ca

Jay Triano has officially stepped down as the head coach of Canada’s senior men’s national team.

Canada Basketball made the announcement this morning, confirming media reports that circulated on Sunday.

“I can’t thank Jay enough for all he has done for basketball in Canada,” said Glen Grunwald, president and CEO of Canada Basketball, in a statement.  

“As both a coach and player, Jay is a Canadian icon and has played a major role in the development of basketball within our country and we will forever be grateful for his contributions. 

Jay Triano 2 Olympic Dot CA
Jay Triano is among the most accomplished coaches in Canadian history. Photo: Canadian Olympic Committee

“After speaking with Jay, I’m hopeful we can find a role where he can continue to contribute to Canada Basketball in the future.”

Triano is the first Canadian-born and Canadian-trained coach to work in the NBA, starting as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors in 2002 and later promoted to head coach.

He is currently the lead assistant coach with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

As head coach of Canada’s national team from 1998 to 2004, Triano led the team to a seventh-place finish at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia.

Canada has not returned to the Olympics since then, but it figures to be a contender to play at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Triano returned as head coach in 2012, guiding the club to a pair of victories during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.

As a player, Triano served with Canada’s national team from 1977 to 1988 and was team captain for the final seven years of his tenure.

He was elected to the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

Roy Rana Canada's National Basketball Team Coach Sitting FIBA Qualifiers Pointing
Roy Rana 2019 FIBA Americas Qualifiers – Photo: FIBA

Ryerson University head coach Roy Rana is among three other candidates being granted interviews to replace Triano, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.

The other candidates are Gord Herbert, who played for Canada at the 1984 Olympics; and Ettore Messina, an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs.

A final decision is expected by March 31.

Multiple reports say Triano cited “personal reasons” for taking his name out of the running, but he did not elaborate.

Team Canada’s next major test will be the 2019 FIBA World Cup, starting Aug. 31 in China.

Triano steps aside at a high point in Canadian basketball, with dozens of players in the NBA and at elite NCAA schools, including Barrett’s son R.J. Barrett, a Duke University standout who is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

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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.

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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