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Tyson Hinz & Warren Ward Lead Team Canada To Universiade Finals

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For the first time in 14 years, Canada is one win away from a gold medal in men’s basketball at the Summer Universiade. Leaving nothing to chance, the Canadians never trailed on Sunday in their semifinal against Lithuania, winning 83-68 to advance to their first world university games final since 1997 in Sicily, Italy.

STATISTICS

Canada (5-1) will face defending champion Serbia (5-1) on Monday at 9:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. ET) in its fifth final in 20 appearances at the FISU tournament. The game can be seen streaming on www.livefisu.tv.

The Serbians defeated Russia 81-61 in the other semifinal. The Canadians beat Serbia 70-67 in their second Pool B outing on Aug. 14.

“It’s fabulous,” said Team Canada bench boss Kevin Hanson of making the gold medal final. “These guys are all very focused, this is a mature group and we have been following that old cliché of ‘one game at a time.”

Ottawa native Tyson Hinz continued to be Canada’s go-to scorer and left the court with 21 points before fouling out late in the fourth, marking his third 20-plus point performance of the tournament.

“The guy is a winner, the fact that we are running everything through him isn’t a surprise to anybody,” said Hanson of his star forward. “He’s a bit undersized in the post, and a lot of people back home were questioning whether he can play internationally, and I think he is proving that he can right now.”

Hinz started slow, Lithuania keyed defensively on the reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport player of the year, and he had only five points at the half. The Carleton University forward finished the game 6-for-14 from the field, including two three-pointers, and is averaging a team-best 16.2 points per game through six FISU contests.

“We are playing really well as a team and in particular we are defending well as a team,” said Hinz, who has led Canada in scoring in four of six games. “If they are going to key in on me, someone always steps up, whether it’s Boris [Bakovic], Warren [Ward], or someone else, we find a way.”

Lithuania (5-2) was perhaps suffering from an emotional and physical letdown after their 76-74 quarter-final upset of the United States on Saturday night and it showed in the first half, as the Canadians came out gunning. Toronto’s Bakovic scored the first eight points of the game for Canada, including two three-pointers, to open the quarter on an 8-to-2 run. The Canucks led 24-18 at the end of the first, and went into halftime up 39-29.

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It was more of the same in the third quarter, as Jahmal Jones of Mississauga, Ont., gave the Canadians their biggest lead of the third following a lay-up with 5:35 left in the quarter (49-33). But on the play Jones lost control in the air and came crashing down to the court chin first. Jones was forced to leave the game to get three stitches, but returned in the fourth quarter to a resounding ovation from the crowd.

The loss of Jones killed some of Canada’s momentum. Lithuania was able to get within six points (53-47) before Ward, of London, Ont., connected on a three-pointer with under 20 seconds left to put Canada up by nine (56-47) heading into the fourth.

“It feels really good, hopefully we can bring home a gold for Canada,” said Jones with a red bandage covering his chin, the handiwork of team Canada trainer Geoff Mabey. “I’m a younger guy on this team and I look up to a lot of the other guys here. They have been to the [CIS] final eight, the Carleton guys have won it, and they have been a huge help to me. If they had said before the tournament that Canada was going to win a medal, they probably would have laughed, but we are proving them wrong.”

The Canadians didn’t let their opponent off the mat in the fourth, their advantage never shrinking to under nine points and increasing to 17 on four occasions.

Lithuania had entered Sunday’s game as the third highest scoring team in the tournament, averaging over 83 points a game. But Canada’s strength in Shenzhen has been its team defence, and the Canucks held their European foes to just 3-for-26 shooting from beyond the arc, while winning the battle of the boards 50-to-41.

Bakovic and Ward each walked off the court with 16 points, while Gediminas Zyle led Lithuania with 15.

NOTES: Canada’s previous final appearances at the Universiade came in 1983 in Edmonton, 1991 in England, 1993 in Buffalo and 1997 in Italy… The Canadians’ lone title came in 1983 thanks to an 83-68 win over Yugoslavia… The 1983 triumph had been set up by a victory over an American squad that included, among others, future NBA legends Karl Malone and Charles Barkley…

CANADA’S MEDALS IN MEN’S BASKETBALL AT THE UNIVERSIADE (8):

Gold (1)
1983 (Edmonton, Canada): 83-68 win over Yugoslavia in final

Silver (3)
1997 (Sicily, Italy)
1993 (Buffalo, USA)
1991 (Sheffield, England)

Bronze (4)
2007 (Bangkok, Thailand)
2003 (Daegu, South Korea)
1995 (Fukuoka, Japan)
1985 (Kobe, Japan)

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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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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