CANADA'S WORLD CUP QUEST BEGINS TONIGHT AGAINST BAHAMAS, LIVE ON DAZN
HALIFAX, NS - The quest for a berth in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 begins tonight as Canada's Senior Men's National Team will square off against Bahamas at 8:15 PM AST from the the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S.
The matchup will represent the first of six windows of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers and will highlight the world's top 80 national teams.
Both rosters feature a mix of established veterans and up-and-coming players who carry with them a wealth of experience from leagues all across the world.
With a combined 14 years of NBA experience in the lineup courtesy of Anthony Bennett and Joel Anthony, Canada carries the distinct advantage of featuring players who have competed at the highest possible level.
Mixing size and speed, Canada's roster is comprised of players who possess the ability to stretch the floor from the perimeter, including the front-court duo of Owen Klassen and Marc Trasolini.
The team's most decorated scorer and outside shooter, Brady Heslip, brings with him over 40 games of experience with the senior menâ??s national team and will be an important cog to head coach Roy Rana's offence.
The three-prong attack of Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Phil Scrubb, and Kaza Kajami-Keane will offer much needed offence in the backcourt but the trio will be tasked with defending and containing Bahamas guard-heavy roster.
Led by head coach Mario Bowleg, Bahamas will look to earn its first victory in FIBA play since defeating Costa Rica in the 2016 Men's Central American and Caribbean Basketball Championship.
Team captain Jaraun Burrows will spearhead the attack for Bahamas. The 6-foot-9 centre currently plays professionally in France for Fos Ouest where he averages 22.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Coach Bowleg's roster is comprised of players with diverse basketball backgrounds including players like Michael Carey and David Nesbitt who have played competitively at the NCAA Division I level, and Lynden Rose Jr. who recently competed in the NBA's G-League with the Salt Lake City Stars.
Following the conclusion of Friday's matchup, Canada will fly south to Dominican Republic for game two of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers on Monday night.
At the conclusion of the six windows, the top seven teams overall in the Americas Region will advance to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China from August 31 - September 15.
Canada currently ranks 25th on the international stage and sits 8th in the Americas region, according to the FIBA World Men's Rankings, while Bahamas places lower at 59 and 12, respectively.