Canada Men’s Basketball finishes world cup qualifiers 6-0

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It turns out when (most of) Canada’s best talent suits up for the men’s national squad, the team rolls the competition. In the final two games of this leg of the Americas qualifiers, Canada topped the Dominican Republic 95-75 on July 1 and the Virgin Islands 113-67 on July 4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 32 points on Canada Day against the Dominican Republic and 24 against the Virgin Islands. He is increasingly showing his mettle as Canada’s leader and best player. (Jamal Murray is soon to return to health, and he may well pair with Gilgeous-Alexander as co-leaders at the guard spot.)

The Canada Day game took place at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton — where Gilgeous-Alexander grew up — only made the game more special.

Next up will be round two in the qualifiers, and Canada will carry over both their 6-0 record from the first leg and their plus-198 point differential. That second round will begin on August 25.

Canada is the only undefeated team remaining in the Americas qualifier. (The United States, for those wondering, is 5-1 in another group from Canada. Their loss was to Mexico.) Both their point differential and their offense are by far the best so far of the tournament. Because of that they will be placed in Group E for the second leg, and the best of their competitors in that group will be Venezuela and Argentina.

Canada will play two more games at the end of August, facing Argentina and Panama, and then the tournament will resume in November.