CANADA OPENS FIBA BASKETBALL WORLD CUP 2019 QUALIFIERS WITH CONVINCING WIN OVER BAHAMAS
HALIFAX, N.S - (November 24, 2017) - Fueled by an outstanding defensive showing, the Senior Men's National Team defeated Bahamas 93-69 on Friday evening in their opening game of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.
Sharpshooter Brady Heslip led the way with a team-high 22 points, while Phil Scrubb chipped in with an all-around performance, recording 17 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Thomas Scrubb added an additional 12 points in the win.
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Floor general Xavier Rathan-Mayes held strong at the point, scoring 11 points to go along with four assists while orchestrating the offence and keeping the ball humming for the Canadians.
Canada came out firing on all cylinders from the opening tip, connecting on a trio of three-pointers and extending the lead to 10 (21-11) after one quarter of play.
The Canadians continued to make things difficult for the Bahamas in the second. Heslip, who ignited the offence for the red and white early on, knocked down five first-half triples and helped cap a 15-2 run to start the second quarter.
Phil Scrubb did more than just score to help Canada, he was also a pest on the defensive end and became the club's primary facilitator as the game progressed.
Bahamas struggled to manufacture any sort of offence early on, shooting just 28.5% and totaling just 17 points after two quarters. Canada outscored Bahamas 24-6 in the second and led 45-17 at halftime.
Despite a strong second-half scoring effort by the visitors, where they would total 52 points - with 31 of those coming in the final quarter - Canada managed to prevent Bahamas from forging a late second-half rally, en route to a 24-point win.
Canada finished the night shooting 46.8% from the field and connected on 11 three-pointers in the win. They also shared the ball well, finishing the game with 23 assists.
The home team also forced Bahamas to turn the ball over 16 times, while out rebounded the visitors 38-34.
Canada's bench unit proved reliable as well, outscoring Bahamas' reserves 38-18 and helping engineer the team's largest lead of the game (34).
Friday's game was played in front of a raucous crowd of 6,240 in attendance at the Scotiabank Centre.
“The guys really committed to the game plan and that’s a testament to them. Sometimes your plan doesn’t always go well when guys just aren’t as invested. Tonight we were very, very good communicating with each other on the floor, active with our hands, cutting off driving lanes, and that paid huge dividends." - Roy Rana, Head Coach
“All the guys just found me when I was open, I really didn’t have to dribble too much. Phil made a couple of good passes, Xavier did... They did all the work and I just shoot open shots." - Brady Heslip
Canada will take on Dominican Republic on Monday to conclude the first window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers. Dominican Republic defeated United States Virigin Islands 99-89 on Friday night.