At the beginning of this week, international basketball returned as 23 teams are fighting for the last four tickets to the Olympic Games. Some big national teams like Serbia, Lithuania, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Canada, Greece, Brazil, and Turkey are doing everything they can to assure their place in Tokyo.
After two days, one of the best teams so far is Canada. First, the team coached by Nick Nurse beat Greece which is led by Rick Pitino with a score of 97 to 91. Then, Canada destroyed China by a margin of 30 points: 109-79.
Canada has a roster with young NBA players such as Andrew Wiggins, RJ Barrett, Dwight Powell, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Lue Dort, and Trey Lyles. They also have veterans like Anthony Bennett or NBA champion Cory Joseph.
In the first two games, Wiggins scored 43 points, Barrett had 38, and Alexander-Walker impressed with 29 points.
More than that, Canada is coached by Nick Nurse who is an amazing coach. We all remember the title won by the Toronto Raptors in 2019 when Kawhi Leonard and his teammates beat Steph Curry and the Warriors.
Canada qualified for the semifinals of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where they will most probably meet Mexico. Then they will have to beat Germany or Greece to advance to the Olympic Games. From what I’ve seen so far, they are the favorites of this group.
*photo: Darren Stone/Time Colonist