The Development Men’s National Team (DMNT) began its exhibition schedule today with an impressive 70-66 win over host-nation China. Despite a loud and energetic crowd showing it support for the home-side, Team Canada stayed focused and settled into its new surroundings with controlled play and hard work.

Canada trailed by a slim 36-34 margin at half-time, but responded well in the second half with a strong push to claim the victory. Jay Triano returned to the bench for the Canada and marked the occasion with a solid effort. The win was the Tillsonburg, Ont. native’s first since being announced as the head coach of the Senior Men’s National Team late last summer. 

Coach Triano believes his team opened the tournament well against a difficult opponent. “It was good to get the guys in a game especially a game like tonight, facing the host country.  China was physical, but I felt that when we matched their physicality, we were able to take control of the game.” 

When asked about the team’s play, Triano added, “I thought we didn't have our best game, but we showed some positives in some possessions. Overall the coaching staff is very proud of our athletes tonight."

Holland Landing, Ont. native and Gonzaga University standout, Kevin Pangos, was happy to start the summer season and looks forward to growing as a team. “It was great to finally get on the court after a long few days of traveling. I felt like we got better throughout the game and we can be very good by the end of this trip. The game conditions weren't the best with the slippery floor and humid conditions, but we persevered.”

Canada will continue the Four Nation’s International Tournament tomorrow when they play against Team USA at 8:30 a.m. The four-team competition will act as a tune-up for this summer’s upcoming World University Games in Kazan, Russia.