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Men’s World Cup: Canada beat Panama in qualifying

PANAMA CITY –

Canada’s men’s basketball team remained unbeaten in World Cup qualifying with a 106-50 score against Panama on Monday.

Detroit Pistons forward Kelly Olynyk scored 18 points, while Kevin Pangos added 17 and the Canadians, the only unbeaten team in the Americas region, improved to 8-0, and all but the position of them in the 2023 FIBA ​​World Cup.

Melvin Ejim added 15 points, Zach Edey scored 15 points and 7 rebounds, and Kassius Robertson finished with 11 points.

Jhivvan Jameel Jackson Melendez has 16 points to lead the Panamians.

Canada’s listing on Monday was one step closer to qualifying, thanks to Venezuela’s 76-72 win over the Dominican Republic earlier in the night. The Canadians then needed both to beat Panama and the Bahamas to upset Argentina in the late game. While they beat Panama, the Bahamas couldn’t beat Argentina, losing 95-77.

The Canadians won 99-87 against Argentina on Thursday in Victoria, their toughest qualifying test to date.

They established their dominance early on Monday, racing to take a 16-0 lead before Panama finally got on the scoresheet with 5:56 to play in the first half. Canada’s stifling defense held Panama 3v16, and were forced to switch five times. The Canadians took a 33-7 lead at the second table.

Scores disparate in FIBA ​​matches and thus no Canadian dropouts in the second quarter. Pangos’ three-pointer 50 seconds before halftime gave the Canadians a 42-point lead.

Edward Lopez’s whistle from off the field gave Panama fans at Arena Roberto Duran something to cheer for, and edged Canada with a 64-25 lead at half-time.

The Canadians continued to take the lead and lead 92-36 with a quarter of a game.

Coach Nick Nurse was able to come on from the bench for most of the second half, as young players like Edey, 20, a four-legged forward for Purdue, were given important playing time. .

The Canadians dominated the entire table, forcing 20 returns to Panama. They took a 50-34 lead over the hosts, shooting 56.7% from their own half compared to Panama’s 34.1%.

Canada was without three NBA players on Monday: Oklahoma City keeper Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Canada’s all-time best player in three games he played this summer, Utah Jazz keeper Nickeil Alexander-Walker and keeper of the Detroit Pistons Cory Joseph. Trae Bell-Haynes, Abu Kigab and Jean-Victory Mukama replaced them.

Monday’s game was the last time Nurse had NBA players at her disposal, as the last two qualifying windows came in the middle of the NBA season, November 7-15, 2022, and May 20-28. 2 in 2023. Nurse is likely to beat the coach in those windows, as he will be busy with the Toronto Raptors.

The top three teams each in Groups E and F, and the team finishing fourth, will advance to the 2023 FIBA ​​FIFA World Cup consisting of 32 teams from August 25 to September 10, 2023, in the Philippines, Japan Ban and Indonesia.

The World Cup is the knockout round for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The final four places of the Games will also be decided in the last chance qualifiers, something Canada wants to avoid after the team was knocked out by the Czech Republic. heart in a last chance qualifier in 2021 in Victoria.


This Canadian Press report was first published on August 29, 2022.

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