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Team effort pushes Canada into 2014 FIBA Women’s World Championship Quarter-Finals

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Team effort pushes Canada  into 2014 FIBA Women's World Championship Quarter-Finals

Ankara, Turkey – Canada’s Senior Women National Team (SWNT) behind a complete team effort knocked-off fifth ranked Czech Republic 91-71 to advance to the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Woman behind held in Turkey.

Paced by the leadership of National team veteran and team captain Kim Gaucher (Mission, B.C) as well as the fresh and energetic legs and skill-set of Nirra Fields (Montreal, Quebec) the Canadians took control of the game in the late stages of the first-quarter and never looked back, cruising to a 20-point victory and setting up a quarter-final tilt against tough undefeated Australia (3-0) team.

Canadian PG Nirra Fields attacks the rack against Czech Republic

Canadian PG Nirra Fields attacks the rack against Czech Republic

Both teams opened the game focused and shooting a high percentage, with Canada leading 15-13 the Czech’s Republic Petra Kulichova was whistled for a foul on Katherine Plouffe and was assessed a technical foul in the process for arguing with the referee. Plouffe knocked 3-of-4 free-throws and scooped-up an offensive rebound for a layup and Gaucher drilled a jumper with 37 seconds left to finish the quarter on 7-0 run and  22-13 lead after the first-quarter.

The Czech Republic trimmed the lead to 24-21 by taking advantage of their superior height with 8-2 a run to open the second-quarter, from there it was All-Canada as the crisp ball movement and unselfish play led to a 44-32 lead at half-time. Canada maintained a comfortable 10-point cushion for most of the second-half to reach the Final 8 of the World Championships.

Gaucher found her shooting touch after a touch outing against France and finished with a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds on 6-0f-10 shooting.  Fields came off the bench and contributed with 15 points and six rebounds. Katherine Plouffe continued here outstanding tournament with another solid effort with 13 points and four rebounds and Kia Nurse wrapped the double-digit scores for the Canadians with 12 points and 2 assists.

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Canada shot the ball extremely well finishing a healthy 34/63 (54%) from the floor,  the Czech Republic connected on 36/57 (45.6%) of their shots. Canada shot a tournament best 22 free-throws, knocking down 19 of them, further emphasizing head coach Lisa Thomaidis committed to attack the rim rather than settle for long jump shots like they did in the group phase of the tournament.

Canada (2-3) will now take Australia (3-0) in the quarter-finals for chance to reach their first-ever semi-finals of a FIBA World Championship. Australia has won the past three-meetings against Canada dating back to 1994, 72-47 (2010), 97-65 (2006) and 90-72 in 1994.

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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.

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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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