HAMILTON — In all, a achievement. It wasn’t perfect, but the new iteration of the Canadian men’s senior countrywide workforce far more than acquired the task completed from the Dominican Republic in Entire world Cup Qualifying on Friday night time.
They thumped the site visitors 95-75 in a acquire that experienced its bumps in the early likely, but in the stop was just what every person predicted likely in: a workforce with some elite NBA talent supported by polished execs elsewhere in the lineup is tricky for any person to take care of.
Canada was led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who topped all scorers with 32 factors and added five rebounds and five helps, as the Oklahoma Town Thunder star served his workforce blow the match open up with a 15-place fourth quarter. His cousin, Nickeil Alexander-Walker of the Utah Jazz, extra 17 details, whilst the Detroit Pistons’ Kelly Olynyk included 17 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. Dallas Mavericks big man Dwight Powell contributed 9 points on 4-of-5 shooting, while introducing 6 rebounds and setting an unlimited source of ball screens for Canada’s guards.
The acquire enhanced Canada to 5- in Team C enjoy in the initial stage of qualifying. They full the phase on Monday when they vacation to enjoy Virgin Islands, who are past in the group. No matter what the final result there — Canada gained by 48 without the need of the benefit of their NBA expertise when they played in February — Canada is assured to progress to the 2nd stage and, barring a sudden switch of fortune, are nicely-positioned to progress to the FIBA World Cup of Basketball in the Philippines and Japan.
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But the final result was in some way secondary as the game was the initial take a look at of the senior men’s team’s prepare to set up a summer time core of 14 players. That system includes their top talent committing to engage in for Canada this summer season and the future two immediately after in purchase to construct cohesion on their way to what they hope will be their very first Olympic visual appearance because the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
The difference was apparent prior to the ball went up as Canada released its starting lineup — that includes four NBAers to the delight of a offered-out lower-bowl crowd of approximately 6,000 at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ont. No 1 obtained a even bigger cheer than Gilgeous-Alexander, who performed higher university basketball in the metropolis in advance of leaving for the United States.
Without a doubt, Canada experienced additional NBA players on the bench viewing (not all users of the summertime main ended up able to perform this summer, but as component of their determination are envisioned to be section of training camps and crew situations) that the Dominican, who counted none in their lineup.
The big difference confirmed early on. Immediately after a sloppy start for Canada they got their very first separation from a scrappy DR squad with a 7- spur that highlighted a set again by Olynyk, a magnificent block on a dunk endeavor by Kyle Alexander (a European professional with NBA experience), two absolutely free throws by Gilgeous-Alexander, and a a few by Alexander-Walker. A further triple at the buzzer by Alexander-Walker — who experienced nine details in the quarter — gave Canada a 21-16 lead at the end of the very first quarter.
The guests ongoing to thrust and led 31-30 with 5:48 to engage in in the 50 % and experienced the video game tied 35-35 with 3:09 to participate in in advance of Canada finished on an 11-1 operate, punctuated by a suggestion-in at the buzzer by Gilgeous-Alexander ahead of the teams jogged off to their respective dressing rooms.
Canada’s expertise edge began to exhibit even far more obviously in the 3rd quarter. To start with Olynyk and Powell mixed on number of significant-very low passing plays that resulted in Powell dunks. Then Gilgeous-Alexander commenced performing what he does finest in the NBA — making use of his reduced dribble and lengthy strides to get the ball into the paint, the place he concluded or drew fouls. Sufficiently warmed up, he stepped into a triple in transition to prolong Canada’s led to 21 with 2:57 left in the third. Two additional triples by Alexander put Canada up by 28 late in the interval as Canada led 76-48 to begin the fourth quarter.
Canada was never ever critically threatened right after that and the emphasize of the period was when 7-foot- 4 Zach Edey of Purdue University — the only faculty player named to Canada’s summer time core — subbed in to make his senior men’s workforce debut, significantly to the delight of the crowd who were being squarely driving the Toronto-born huge man. The 20-12 months-outdated obtained himself on the board with a pair of no cost throws for his to start with details with the senior crew.