Canada goes to the FIBA World Cup.
Kassius Robertson’s 16-point efficiency helped Canada’s males’s basketball staff beat Venezuela 94-56 on Thursday to clinch a berth in subsequent summer season’s main worldwide match.
“It’s clearly a great feeling,” stated Thomas Scrubb, who completed with 12 factors and 4 assists, and has travelled throughout the Americas for all 9 of Canada’s qualifying video games. “It’s loads of totally different home windows, loads of journey, so, to have the ability to do it at residence and fairly early within the course of is sweet for us. Now we will concentrate on the World Cup going ahead.”
Owen Klassen had 11 factors and 10 rebounds for Canada (9-0), whereas Kenny Chery had 12 factors and 6 assists.
Canada completely dominated Venezuela on the glass, out-rebounding the guests 54-26. The Venezuelans couldn’t get offensive boards to stretch possessions, getting simply 5 second-chance factors on the evening.
“We really talked about rebounding in preparing for this game,” stated Klassen. “We seemed on the two huge guys they’ve and so they have been averaging 4 offensive rebounds per sport. It was our focus to take their video games away and let the guards get the rebounds in the event that they need to.
“We needed to verify these guys didn’t get second possibilities.”
The two Venezuelan rebounders Klassen referred to have been Miguel Ruiz and Nestor Colmenares, and so they have been held to 2 offensive boards every.
Chery, all of five-foot-11, completed with seven rebounds, which spoke to Canada’s dedication on the defensive finish.
“It’s five guys rebounding every time,” stated Klassen.
Jhornan Zamora led Venezuela (7-2) with 14 factors and three rebounds.
The sport’s begin time was pushed again 25 minutes due to the Venezuelan staff’s late arrival. When Canada received onto the ground for pre-game warm-up, the Venezuelans have been nonetheless nowhere to be seen.
Canada got here out exhausting early within the first quarter and pressed the Venezuelans, who simply received off a aircraft a few hours earlier than the sport.
“We were told from the get-go that this might have been a little distraction tactic, so we were pretty locked in,” stated Klassen. “We have been laser-focused. We had seen articles on the information that they didn’t have visas, that in the event that they have been going to get on a flight, it was going to be the identical day.
“But, we got here to play a basketball sport. We have been prepared, regardless.”
The Venezuelans didn’t communicate to the media after the sport.
Most leagues all over the world break for the FIBA qualifying home windows, however not the NBA. So, the Canadian staff that certified Thursday was made up nearly completely of gamers who’re plying their trades in Europe.
“It means a lot,” stated Robertson, who performs for Italian membership Reggio Emilia. “A number of us come from far-off to return play these video games. For me, and I can communicate for loads of guys on the staff, that is nearly like a trip for us.
“We’re tremendous targeted, however being with our countrymen and being on Canadian soil is superb for us.”
With Canada placing excessive stress on the ball, and infrequently double-teaming the participant on the dribble, the Venezuelans missed their first six pictures. Of their first eight makes an attempt, three have been air balls. It took nearly 4 minutes for the Venezuelans to hit a shot, a Zamora three-pointer.
A towering block by Klassen, stuffing a Windi Graterol layup try, introduced the group in Edmonton to its toes. Canada completed the primary quarter up 25-10.
Venezuela went on a nine-point run within the second quarter to scale back the deficit to 10 factors, nevertheless it was as shut as they received.
In the second quarter. Klassen had the highlight-reel basket of the primary half, ending an alley-oop cross from Chery.
Canada stretched the lead within the third quarter, outscoring Venezuela 24-11 within the body. If there was any life left within the guests, it was taken out of them by Robertson, who hit a three-pointer, was fouled within the act of taking pictures, and iced the four-point play by making the free throw.
By the fourth quarter, with the end result nicely in hand, baskets from the guests generated well mannered applause from the house crowd.
Although Canada has clinched, profitable its remaining video games may enhance its world rating and seeding heading into the World Cup. And whereas many roster spots for the World Cup will go to Canadians taking part in within the NBA and due to this fact weren’t obtainable for this qualifying window, Scrubb stated the gamers who’re right here owe it to this system to present it their all, even when they may not get chosen for the World Cup itself.
“The guys who are here, we’ve got to play hard, and represent our country well,” stated Scrubb.