Canada’s National Basketball Team Puts on a Show for Home Crowd

Canada Emerges With a Win Over Dominican Republic in World Cup Americas Qualifier

  • Canada escaped with a win over the Dominican Republic on home turf to rise to first place in Group D of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers. Courtesy ATBNews - Rhyan Correia

Canada’s National Basketball team showed their true worth pulling off a 97-61 win over the Dominican Republic on Friday night.

Team Canada (4-1) faced its first round contender, the Dominican Republic (4-1) as the FIBA game qualifier series continues for the 2019 Inaugural World Cup to be held in China.

The Dominican Republic met Canada last in November 2017, beating them by 12 points, with the final score sitting at 88-76. This time, team Canada came looking for revenge against the Dominicans at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, and they certainly got what they came for.

Canada’s head coach and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets assistant coach, Jay Triano made some clever decisions picking the night’s roster. He gave equal opportunity to everyone on the Canadian squad to run the floor.

“We played a lot of players that had a unique ability, kept them upfront, we were able to share the ball and talking to the players before and you know the aim was to trust each other,” he explained.

Canada forward Melvin Ejim and Duke’s freshman point guard R.J Barrett managed to put up 28 points and ten rebounds combined to help maintain a deep gap between them and the Dominican Republic squad.

NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks and the Miami Heat’s forward Kelly Olynyk came out to protect their country’s title, scoring 28 points and notching 11 rebounds.

Canada delivered a show filled with intensity to all of the Canadian fans that came out to see the World Cup qualifiers.

“These guys represent Canada, they love the game of basketball, they like to play the game and they love their country,” said Triano. “I hope more people will come out and celebrate that.”

Coach Triano proceeded to explain his impromptu decision to select number one point-guard in the country and FIBA U18 Silver medal winner, Andrew Nembphard to be part of the national team roster. He said that he made the decision last week and he doesn’t regret it as Nembhard didn’t fail to impress the crowd with his excellence.

Nembphard will be joining Florida State next year. He and Duke freshman R.J Barrett garnered quite a bit of attention during the game, not only for what they were capable of bringing to the game but also because of their young age. Both are just eighteen years old.

Courtesy ATBNews - Rhyan Correia

“He is an unbelievable listener and an unbelievable learner, he wants to come out and help this program, you see flashes of brilliance, a lot of excellence and few mistakes, says Olynyk about his young teammate R.J Barrett.

In favour of Canada’s rival, Dominican guard Rigoberto Mendoza De La Rosa delivered eleven points and eight rebounds, while his teammate and center Eloy Antonio Camacho Vargas and guard Adris Geraldo De Leon Jimenez brought in 18 points alongside an impactful set of fourteen rebounds combined.

During the press conference, Canada’s head coach mentioned the importance of fans continuing to support Canadian Basketball as the performance level is being rejuvenated.

“Moving forward we’re gonna need more support because we’re gonna play meaningful games in this country and we need to fill buildings and have that little extra push,” he says.

With this win in the bag, Canada becomes number one within its group division for the World Cup Qualifiers. The team will be facing the Virgin Islands on Monday July 2 in Ottawa.

The FIBA World Cup in China in 2019 will be the biggest FIBA World Cup edition ever held, hosting 32 teams and 92 games over 16 days.

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