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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifying

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FIBA radically changed their competition structure.  Instead of holding qualifying tournaments at single sites during the summer they have copied soccer with home-and-away group stages during qualifying windows throughout the year.  Very controversial because the top leagues are not releasing players.  First qualifying window just started and Canada hosts the Bahamas in Halifax Friday before playing the Dominican Republic on Monday.

https://www.thestar.com/sports/basketball/2017/11/23/air-of-mystery-shrouds-canadian-mens-world-cup-basketball-qualifying-launch.html

 

http://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2019/qualifiers

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Apparently, three of the four teams in our 1st round group advance so as long as we beat out Bahamas (likely the weakest side) we move on.  The 2nd round will be the tough part where we need to be top 3 in our group of 6 to go to the World Cup (with a playoff for the 4th place team).  Canada will just have to hope that our rivals will be equally inconvenienced by the format/scheduling.

Like soccer, building squad depth will be a priority for future success. 

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37 minutes ago, ray said:

Apparently, three of the four teams in our 1st round group advance so as long as we beat out Bahamas (likely the weakest side) we move on.  The 2nd round will be the tough part where we need to be top 3 in our group of 6 to go to the World Cup (with a playoff for the 4th place team).  Canada will just have to hope that our rivals will be equally inconvenienced by the format/scheduling.

Like soccer, building squad depth will be a priority for future success. 

Indeed, but the results from the 1st round carry over. If we finish either 1st or 2nd in the 1st round we should be in good shape.

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Canada tops Bahamas at FIBA WC qualifier
The Canadian Press November 24, 2017

HALIFAX — Brady Heslip wasn't going to take all the credit for Canada's first victory at the FIBA Americas qualifier.

Heslip had a game-high 22 points as Canada's men's national team opened their bid to get back to the World Cup with a 93-69 win over the Bahamas on Friday in the opening game of the tournament.

The Oakville, Ont., native, who hit six three-pointers and went 7-of-11 overall from the floor, says teammates Philip Scrubb and Xavier Rathan-Mayes made it easy for him to get good looks.

"All the guys just really found me when I was open. I didn't have to dribble too much," Heslip said. "Phil and Xavier made a couple of great passes and when those guys are doing what they're doing and finding me wide open, they do all the work and I'm just shooting open shots."

The Bahamas kept it close early before Heslip caught fire to help Canada build a 21-11 lead by the end of the first quarter. The former Baylor University guard scored five of his three-pointers in the first half.

Canada played suffocating defence in the second quarter as the Canadians limited the Bahamas to just six points. They went to the dressing room leading 45-17 at the half.

Scrubb, a former Carleton Ravens standout, added 17 points, seven rebounds, and six assists for Canada.

Canadian coach Roy Rana was happy with his team's effort.

"The guys really committed to the game plan and that's a testament to them," he said. "They were very good at communicating with each other on the floor."

Jaraun Burrows led the Bahamas with 15 points and Shaquille Cleare had 12.

Bahamas coach Mario Bowleg said his team came out flat-footed in the first half.

"We're an athletic team and we are a better shooting team and a better defensive team than we showed," Bowleg said. "Not taking anything away from Canada, they played great defence and made their shots."

The Bahamas came alive in the second half and outscored Canada 52-48, but never got closer than 22 points the rest of the game.

"It's tough to play when you're up that much," said Canada forward Owen Klassen. "I know you never want to have a letdown and give up so many points in the second half. They switched their defence that gave us a little bit of trouble when it first happened."

Cleare thought his team didn't play their style in the first half and that's why they fell behind so early.

"It put us in the hole," Cleare said. "In the second half we played with more fire and played Bahamas basketball."

Scrubb said the Bahamas was way more aggressive in the second half.

"We didn't really match their aggressiveness and kind of got back on our heels and let guys defend 1-on-1 instead of a team defence," said Scrubb, who thinks the little bit of adversity Canada faced in the second half will help down the road.

The Canadians get on a plane early Saturday to fly to the Dominican Republic for its second qualifying game on Monday.

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Part one of the long process ends poorly for Canada
Doug Smith thestar.com November 29 2017

Many Canadians have had much better trips to the Dominican Republic than the senior men’s basketball team did.

They were beaten – 88-76 and that kind of flattered them – in the second game of the FIBA qualifying thing on Monday night and close this “window” on the 2019 World Cup with a 1-1 record.

What’s it all mean?

It’s tough to say because the process is so long and a bit complex; they still have four games to play and three of the four teams in their group move on so it’s not like they’re dead in the water. Right now, Dominican Republic’s 2-0, Canada and U.S. Virgin Islands are 1-1 and Bahamas is 0-2 so getting through – which is the object of the whole process still looks like a bit of certainty.

We can deal with that a lot more in February when they get together again – they play the 22nd in U.S. Virgin Islands and the 25th in Bahamas – before coming home to play June 28 and July 2. We don’t know who’ll come out of other group and what their records will be – games against teams that advance are carried forward – so trying to figure it out is, well, math and I don’t do math particularly well.

The crazy thing is that this group, which has been together for a whole week, may never be together again and that’s the crux of the convoluted issue.

Getting teams in Europe and Asia and North America to release their players for another week may not be as easy the second time around. Canada couldn’t secure the releases of a key player like Mel Ejim this time around, whose team wouldn’t let him go and who might have helped last night.

What’s to say that Brady Heslip or Phil Scrubb, who was the best Canadian player overall in the two games, might not meet the same resistance in February.

It’s the hardest part of this whole process, to tell the truth, and it’s a bit surprising that Canada was able to assemble the team it did.

Going 1-1 was, actually, what I kind of expected. Winning at home with the adrenaline flowing and the fans in the joint and the opposition wasn’t a surprise, nor was losing in the cauldron of the Dominican Republic.

Now, rattling off four wins to finish this first-round group is paramount and it will come down to who they can get to play in February. And until they even start thinking about it, we can’t really start talking about it.

They would hope they have basically the same team with maybe an upgrade or two but no one knows and that has to be the frustrating part. It’s the same for every team, though, and is truly the flaw in this convoluted new process.

But I’m going to say this:

The players who’ve been around this week deserve some credit for being there, even though they couldn’t sweep the two games.

A guy like Marc Tresolini travelled from Japan to Halifax to Dominican Republic just to play for his country. He played about 18 minutes over the two games.

A guy like Owen Klassen was in Greece when the call came and he answered, playing about 24 minutes over the two games.

No matter how this process ultimately shakes out – and I think it ends with Canada getting back to the World Cup for the first time since 2010 – those guys deserve some thanks from the fans.

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This new system would be ok if FIBA had any significant power like FIFA does, but it doesn't....not even a small fraction of it. When teams from multiple leagues around the world don't respect you enough to release their players, you have to re think things. Also, how does this reflect on the final FIBA World Cup? Are countries going to send the players that helped them qualify to the final tournament? Are they going to summon their best players.... creating a huge disconnect between the qualifiers and final tournament? Most likely alienating the guys that got them to the dance by not letting them dance. All these things just create an unsavory recipe when they changed the format up.

I think this misstep opens the door even further to the NBA holding their own "World Cup of Basketball" similar to what the NHL did.

Edited by Macksam

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2 hours ago, Macksam said:

This new system would be ok if FIBA had any significant power like FIFA does, but it doesn't....not even a small fraction of it. When teams from multiple leagues around the world don't respect you enough to release their players, you have to re think things. Also, how does this reflect on the final FIBA World Cup? Are countries going to send the players that helped them qualify to the final tournament? Are they going to summon their best players.... creating a huge disconnect between the qualifiers and final tournament? Most likely alienating the guys that got them to the dance by not letting them dance. All these things just create an unsavory recipe when they changed the format up.

I think this misstep opens the door even further to the NBA holding their own "World Cup of Basketball" similar to what the NHL did.

It's partly an extension of the war for control of European club basketball that escalated into an international incident the past few years.  FIBA desperately wants the power FIFA has and have started engaging in blackmail to get their way.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015–17_FIBA–Euroleague_Basketball_controversy

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2 hours ago, Macksam said:

This new system would be ok if FIBA had any significant power like FIFA does, but it doesn't....not even a small fraction of it. When teams from multiple leagues around the world don't respect you enough to release their players, you have to re think things. Also, how does this reflect on the final FIBA World Cup? Are countries going to send the players that helped them qualify to the final tournament? Are they going to summon their best players.... creating a huge disconnect between the qualifiers and final tournament? Most likely alienating the guys that got them to the dance by not letting them dance. All these things just create an unsavory recipe when they changed the format up.

I think this misstep opens the door even further to the NBA holding their own "World Cup of Basketball" similar to what the NHL did.

Oh please no "World Cup of Basketball" similar to hockey that was a joke of a tournament. basketball is big enough world wide that teams should be qualifying to the World Cup, in hockey there are just what maybe 9 countries that can play at a decent level then there is a huge drop off. That's why in hockey you can have an invitational made up tournament and just invite the main countries, in basketball there are a lot of good countries playing the game and yes the US is still miles better than everyone else but after the US a lot of countries can fight for that number 2 ranking unlike hockey. When you call something a World Cup like hockey did and teams don't have to qualify it shows that the sport does not have enough good teams to have a need for qualifying, however, basketball does it's not like soccer but still there are many good countries and a qualifying process is needed to determine teams to the World Cup.  

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4 hours ago, 1996 said:

Oh please no "World Cup of Basketball" similar to hockey that was a joke of a tournament. basketball is big enough world wide that teams should be qualifying to the World Cup, in hockey there are just what maybe 9 countries that can play at a decent level then there is a huge drop off. That's why in hockey you can have an invitational made up tournament and just invite the main countries, in basketball there are a lot of good countries playing the game and yes the US is still miles better than everyone else but after the US a lot of countries can fight for that number 2 ranking unlike hockey. When you call something a World Cup like hockey did and teams don't have to qualify it shows that the sport does not have enough good teams to have a need for qualifying, however, basketball does it's not like soccer but still there are many good countries and a qualifying process is needed to determine teams to the World Cup.  

Oh, no doubt about that. The World Cup of Hockey was the biggest money grab ever done by the NHL and people in Toronto, my neck of the woods, had enough poor taste to shell out money for such a monstrosity of an event. I’ve been a die hard Team Canada fan as much as the next Canuck since Nagano and I was so hoping Russia would have knocked us out in the semis (my face lit up with glee when they took the lead in the second period). 

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12 hours ago, Macksam said:

I was so hoping Russia would have knocked us out in the semis (my face lit up with glee when they took the lead in the second period). 

WTF, with that logic if I didn't like the CSA I would cheer against the CMNT.  Not cool!

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http://basketball.ca/en/news-article/slug-4kv15a

Squad for the September world cup qualifiers has been named.  Several big names from the NBA are missing (eg.: Wiggins and Murray) but some key players like Pangos are there.  Good to see someone like Dillon Brooks there.  Pangos is not in the NBA but is a real star in Europe.  

i thought the September window of qualifiers would have been the only chance to get all the NBA players. But apparently not.   They play Brazil first at home (Montreal) and then Chile on the road.  Brazil should be the toughest team in the group; Chile should be easiest opponent for Canada.  Based on current standings it would take quite a disaster for Canada not to qualify but i think that they would have pretty much nailed down a spot at the WC with two wins in this window and that would have been much gauranteed with all the NBA players on board. 

Edited by Free kick

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Two wins in two games. That home win versus Brazil in Montreal was huge because they are now in the drivers seat to qualify for the world cup in China.  Too bad that the fan turnout in Laval wasnt better.  

With two windows and four games remaining, its hard to envision a scenario whereby Canada doesnt qualify for China 2019.   They have a home game left against Chile, who are simply no match for canada,. So even if they lose their next two (both are away games in Feb against Brazil and Venezuela), they are still in a good spot.  

This was accomplished despite the fact that many of the best available nba'ers were absent. 

Edited by Free kick

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In the November qualifying window, Canada travels to South America losing to Venezuela and beating Brazil to earn a berth in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.  Congratulations to the players many of whom may not see action in the World Cup finals.  They have laid the groundwork for what we hope will be Canada's ascent to the basketball elite over the next few years.

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What this proves is that Canada has depth in basketball.  Even without the nba players they managed to qualify and may very likely finish at the top of their group after the next and final window in February.  The February window will consist of two home games against Venezuela and Chile.  Chile is just not at this level and a win versus Venezuela may mean going to the tie breakers to determine the group winner or canada will win the group outright.  There is better seeding opportunities at the world cup draw if they win the group. 

What is particularly interesting is that canada managed some key wins (like the win versus Brazil on friday) with a squad made up of players with the kind of pedigree that would have (in the past) resulted in double digit losses against some of the teams that they beat this time.  Lesson learned here is the immense value of having superb elite top level talent around.   Its not just for what this world class elite talent can do on the floor or pitch during a game but its also for what they can do for the culture on squad;  it pushes the others to their limits and beyond because they know that there is no safe spot on the squad.  That players squad that beat Brasil on friday know that if all the nba talent shows up and is available, they dont have a spot on the team unless they really standout.   Thats what competition for spots does.  Its makes everyone better.  

Think of what the backcourt could be like at the world cup.  On paper, other than the US,  who has a better back court?   We are not going to need a Cory Joseph.  There are just far to many better players at the one and two spots.  They only way that i see him getting on the team is:  1). There are absences or 2) the coach is compelled to reward his past loyalty and commitment.   With the right draw, which means avoiding the US,  Canada could make it to the finals at the 2019 world cup. 

Here is what the depth chart at PG/SG/SF might look like:

Murray 

Gilgeous Alexander

Brooks

Barrett

Wiggins

Stauskas 

Pangos

Phil Scrubb

Where does Joseph fit and how do you make a case?  

Edited by Free kick

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As many as four Canadians might go in the first round of the draft this year:

Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan)

R.J. Barrett (Duke)

Lugentz Dort (Arizona State)

Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech)

 

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On 12/6/2018 at 10:56 AM, Dub Narcotic said:

As many as four Canadians might go in the first round of the draft this year:

Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan)

R.J. Barrett (Duke)

Lugentz Dort (Arizona State)

Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech)

 

Oshae Brissett (Syracuse) is also on many boards as first rounder

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