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Team USA Ready For Rio

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One day to go!

No King for the throne. No Chef for the kitchen. James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul not joining the carnival. Russell Westbrook definitly staying put in his Oklahoma home. Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis and John Wall not wanting to risk adding a Zika virus to their respective medical list of injuries. Even Spaniard Spurs star Pau Gasol is freezing his sperm due to the risk of infection.

There will be a lot of torch bearers not carrying the flag for their country in tomorrows ceremony to open the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, but this is more out of a sense of protection than a lack of patrioism. And don’t worry Team USA is still loaded with some Dream Team talent. And we’re not just talking about the WNBA pedigree of legends and new superstars from Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Catchings to Elena Della Donne, Maya Moore and Brittany Griner leading the female front. Here’s a deeper look at the 12 man roster that has started by blowing out five tune up games getting ready for the same number of rings.

Guards…

Toronto’s very own DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry will take their Rap Pack from the North to South America as the Canadian court couple now represent these Unites States for the Summer. But taking the Kings throne it will be Cavalier Prince Kyrie Irving-originally of Australia-who will be leading the charge from Basketball’s Q.B. position at P.G. Serving the dance floor as he breaks it down to the human torch likes of Klay Thompson set to splash on the other side of the Pacific.

Forwards…

Joining his brother Draymond Green in a loaded frontcourt with new family member Kevin Durant who made the biggest decision of his life this Summer as he became a free man. And distant relative Harrison Barnes who now with Dallas wants to prove to the Golden State Warriors and the league that he is even more of a Maverick than they thought. Now hows that for a big three without Steph Curry? Well if that isn’t enough for you than there is always most improved superstar and Chicago Bulls charge leader Jimmy Butler at your service. Not to mention injury redeemed Paul George more than keeping pace like the Indiana piece of basketball jones does with first name Hancocks. And then of course there’s the most experienced player in this future of the league team, the alpha, scoring superstar Carmelo Anthony who has been more of a consecutive, consistent Olympian than anyone in his generation and will serve as the unoffical leader and elder statesman of this basketball dozen.

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Centres…

Now in the middle of it all, although Dray will also have his Green day upfront when this Suicide Squad runs a death line-up on the rest of the world it’s all about the two De’s, Marcus and Andre. Who needs Draymond in the middle when DeMarcus Cousins can trash talk himself all the way to the podium, still running his motor as they raise the flag. Whereas in the absence of the flying Griffin, Lob City runway, running mate DeAndre Jordan will catch air and put down everything thrown his way…hopefully free throws too.

That’s a lot for Dukie Mike Krzyzewski to dry-erase before Coach K hands the clipboard to Pop for the 2020 games in Tokyo, Japan. But with Christ the Redeemer watching this former redeem team redefine what it means to dream you know this squad will have a devil of a time in Rio de Janeiro…as long as they pay attention to the details. This is a place built on skill and passion and if you don’t build on yours than you won’t make it to the summit of the podium where gold gleams like that eternal flame.

One day to Rio…

Let’s go!

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!

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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

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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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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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