The Goal is to Qualify

Olynyk Leads Canada to Victory

Canada Looks Better Than Ever, Takes Down Brazil in Qualifier

The Canadians inch one step closer in Laval.

On Thursday night, we witnessed a Canadian team on a mission. In the Golden Age of Canadian basketball, the goal is really quite simple – to qualify for the World Cup in China. Last night, the Canadians got things rolling with a huge victory over the Brazilians by a score of 85-77.

Led by Kelly Olynyk who poured in with a 20-point, 19-rebound performance, the Canadians held onto their eight point lead heading into the fourth quarter, fighting off every surge Brazil sent their way.

“Great win for us, in our situation,” said Olynyk following the win. “We haven’t played together a lot, and to come in and put together a squad and get one win against Brazil here is huge … the more we play together the better we’re going to get, and this is one step in the right direction for us.”

Dishing out 25-assists on 33-made field goals, Coach Roy Rana watched his squad shoot 51% from the floor for the night, while holding Brazil to just 5-of-20 shooting from long range.

“We talked about playing the right way, trying to play together all week long,” explained Rana. “Our guys were willing to make the pass, willing to share, it wasn’t about one particular person’s performance, it was about getting the win. If we keep playing this way, I think we have some really special times ahead.”

The Brazilians were led by shabby veterans Anderson Varejao and Leonardo Barbosa who put up 10 and 18-points respectively.

Despite the big victory on Thursday night, Canada will still be required to face Venezuela and Brazil in the next couple of the months, only this time it would be without their NBA players. That being said, Canada can only control what is on the floor in any given game. NBA players or not, the Canadians seem poised to show that they are ready for the highest level of international basketball.

This time around – it feels different.


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