Canada’s final tune-up for the Manila OQT tournament goes this coming Wednesday, June 29th at 2:30 PM ET in Biella, Italy (west of Milan, north of Turino) against FIBA Americas rival Puerto Rico – no word yet on where the game might be available on-line although finding these is not a strength of mine. Puerto Rico is also involved in the Olympic qualifiers as part of the tournament in Italy and come off a victory yesterday in the Gold Medal game of the 2016 Centrobasket Championship in Panama City, Panama, defeating Mexico 84-83 in a thriller after blowing an 18-point lead in the second quarter. Puerto Rico’s Ricky Sanchez hit a three-pointer that sealed the deal and won the gold medal. J.J. Barea was named MVP of the competition after another complete performance for Puerto Rico. The point guard ended up with 17 points, 9 assists and 3 steals in the win. Puerto Rico won the gold medal, their tournament–leading 11th in the history of the competition and now travel to Italy to begin preparations for the OQT, starting with Wednesday’s date with Canada. Note that Canada has tweaked their roster somewhat with the re-addition of 6’2″ Cory Joseph, expected to play on Wednesday and 6’9″ Joel Anthony, who re-joins the club after the arrival of his newborn, bringing Canada’s roster back to 12. Note that 6’6″ Dyshawn Pierre is the odd-man out from Canada’s roster which now looks like this:
POINT GUARDS: Cory Joseph, Tyler Ennis
SHOOTING GUARDS: Phil Scrubb, Brady Heslip
WING FORWARDS: Thomas Scrubb, Melvin Ejim, Shai Alexander
POWER FORWARDS/CENTERS: Anthony Bennett, Khem Birch, Levon Kendall, Sim Bhullar, Joel Anthony.
Most are still awaiting word on whether or not Tristan Thompson will be available after his incredible run to the N.B.A. championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Go Canada !