The Canadian men’s basketball team is raring to go for their final Olympic bid in Tokyo.
Tomas Satoransky, a player for the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, was captain of the Czech Republic squad that was in Victoria to compete in the Olympic qualification competition.
T. Satoranský Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Tomas Satoransky, a member of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, is in Victoria, British Columbia, with the Czech Republic national team for the Olympic qualification competition. As captain of the Czech squad, Satoransky referred to the host country, Canada, as the “second-best team in the world on paper.”
Canada’s first game in the FIBA qualification tournament for the 2020 Plus One Tokyo Olympic Games is today at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre versus Greece (4 p.m., CBC). This is Canada’s chance to finally live up to the high expectations that have been placed upon them.
“[Satoransky’s comment] is a hell of a praise but we have to go out and put it all together,” said Cory Joseph, the Canadian captain of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons.
Since we haven’t done anything to warrant being hunted, I don’t feel like a prey. Statistically, we should have a decent shot, but we’ve had more talented teams that failed previously.
For the first time since Victoria native and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash lead Canada at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the country is attempting to qualify for the Olympic tournament.
Canadian captain Joseph remarked, “It would mean a lot to qualify, because I’ve been working at this for a long time.” Joseph has been on the senior national team for ten years.
It would be a huge step Forward for the Nation. The Population Craves it. I really need to Drink some Right now.
A used court from Oakland’s Oracle Arena, where the 2019 NBA Finals were won by the Toronto Raptors, was purchased by tournament organisers in Victoria.
However, getting the host nation to Tokyo will require more than quick karma and mystical vibes. To win, you’ll need a cohesive unit of 12 skilled players who have had few opportunities to work together prior to the competition.
Head coach Nick Nurse of the Canadian squad said, “We’re going to find out a lot more about who we are and what we can become” today.
The Greek national team has played three exhibition games prior to the tournament, but head coach Rick Pitino, who is also well-known for his work with NBA and NCAA teams, says that this is a two-edged sword.
Given that we haven’t been able to scout Canada, we’ll be playing this game without any prior information.
I personally tried to sign many of their collegiate players while I was an assistant coach for the University of Texas Longhorns. Each person can take their turn setting it up on the floor. A lot of great basketball players hail from Canada.
What Canada has been able to grow over the past decade, if not longer, is simply incredible. However, we cannot see their plan for this competition.
Eight current NBA players and two former NBA players, both first-round draught picks, make up Canada’s 12-man squad, which was unveiled on Monday. In the NBA, you may catch Joseph of the Pistons, Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors, R.J. Barrett of the Knicks,
Nickeil Alexander-Walker of the Pelicans, Trey Lyles of the Spurs, Lugentz Dort of the Thunder, Dwight Powell of the Mavericks, and Mychal Mulder of the Mavericks (Golden State).
Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 choice in the 2013 NBA draught, now plays for the pro Puerto Rico league’s Aguadulce, while Andrew Nicholson, the 19th pick in the 2012 NBA draught, now plays for China’s Fujian Sturgeons.
Joseph Reflected on the Privilege of Doing Meaningful Work for one’s Nation.
Only Trae Bell-Haynes, formerly of the Crailsheim Merlins in Germany, and Aaron Doornekamp, formerly of Tenerife in Spain, lack NBA experience.
Jamal Murray’s ACL tear is the biggest blow to the NBA, but Chris Boucher and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander both suffered injuries and now have an opportunity to contribute.
Both Kamloops’ Kelly Olynyk and Portland’s Khem Birch are set to become NBA free agents soon, and as a result, neither player can afford insurance or take any chances by playing for Canada while they are in between NBA teams.
Some NBA players opted out, including Dillon Brooks and Oshae Brissett. Canada’s resilience despite these setbacks is evidence of the country’s wealth of ingenuity.
Nurse Declared, “This is the Golden age of Basketball in Canada.”
Greece would have been a serious threat in the qualifying round had the NBA playoffs not begun so late this year because of the outbreak.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, a two-time NBA MVP, and his brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, aren’t playing for the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference final.
Pitino has Expressed Interest in Seeing his Players Qualify for the Olympics.
Kostas Antetokounmpo, the third Antetokounmpo brother who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, is the first Greek-born player to wear an NBA championship ring.
He will need help from former NBA player and University of Florida Gators star Nick Calathes, former NBA player Kostas Sloukas, and Greek league standout and 2016 NBA 13th overall draught pick Georgios Papagiannis.
You can always make an excuse. We’re aware of how challenging this situation is for us. “Excuses are for weaklings,” Sloukas remarked.
Our participation in these Olympic Games represents a tremendous honour, and we’re thrilled to represent our country in combat. We have faith in our squad and our manager.
Pitino further said, “The whole country [of Greece] is behind us. We’re going to put in all of our effort. We anticipate a challenging environment. That said, we welcome the challenge.
On Wednesday at 4 p.m., Canada will play China to round off pool play, while China will play Greece to determine a Thursday placement.
Today at 7:30 p.m., Turkey will play Uruguay in one pool; Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., the Czech Republic will play Turkey; and Thursday, Uruguay will play the Czechs in the other pool.
Starting Thursday, only 10% of the Memorial Centre’s capacity will be let in, making it the first time that supporters in British Columbia and Western Canada have been allowed into a sporting event since March of 2020.
The semi-finals of the crossover meet on Saturday at yet-to-be-determined timings, and the final, which will determine who goes to the Tokyo Olympics, will take place on Sunday at 4 p.m. CBC has the exclusive rights to broadcast all Canadian national team games.
Ever with the Los Angeles Games in 1984, China has Qualified for every Olympic Games since then.
The last time Uruguay qualified was in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics, and that streak looks certain to continue. Although it is more renowned for hockey and soccer, the Czech Republic recently surprised everyone by finishing in sixth place at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
With NBA players like Cedi Osman of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Ersan Ilyasova of the Utah Jazz, and Furkan Korkmaz of the Philadelphia 76ers, talented but erratic Turkey is seen as Canada’s greatest threat in Victoria. Turkey has not competed in the Olympics since 1952 in Helsinki.
BALLS ON THE HOUSE: Pitino spoke about the epidemic bubble that exists between the Victoria hotel and the Memorial Centre. If only my team could see how stunning Victoria really is. We were trapped inside the vessel with no way to exit.
In his first impressions of Canada, the Czech Republic’s head coach Ronen Ginzburg had this to say.
Even though this last year has been challenging due to the one-year [Olympic] delay, having this now is preferable than having never had it.