Next stop, China.
The Canadian senior men’s basketball team displayed a dominating performance at Mile One Centre in St. John’s Sunday in a 95-55 win over Venezuela in the final game of their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.
Canada went through the qualifying process 10-2 to finish first in Group F.
The national team will now prepare for the World Cup Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China, where a record 32 teams will play 92 games over 16 days.
For the first time, the FIBA Basketball World Cup will qualify seven teams directly to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Thursday night at Mile One, Canada beat Chile 85-46 in the first of two games at Mile One.
Kyle Wiltjer had another stand-out performance as he led the Canadians with 19 points and eight rebounds. Melvin Ejim also had another solid game as he finished with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal. Phil Scrubb chipped in 14 points, eight assists and five rebounds in the victory. Yohanner Sifontes led Venezuela with 10 points.
It was another strong start for the Canadians as they jumped out to a quick 14-3 lead and carried a 24-8 advantage into the second quarter. The Canadians dominated the remainder of the first half and took a 22-point lead, 45-23, into halftime.
There was no slowing down the red and white in the second half. Canada had their highest scoring quarter of the game in the third, sinking 27 points to take a 72-40 lead into the final quarter.
Canada actually qualified for the World Cup back in December, beating Brazil 94-67.
Canada’s appearance at the World Cup will be the team’s 14th at the tournament, and the first since the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
It’s expected many Canadians playing in the NBA will join the national team for the World Cup.
With files from Canada Basketball