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Canada basketball
Matt Johnson

RJ Barrett's late-game heroics help Canada defeat Germany in OT thriller to win DBB Super Cup

HAMBURG, Germany (Aug. 13, 2023) – Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team claimed the DBB Super Cup on Sunday, thanks to a come-from-behind 113-112 overtime win over Germany.

With Canada trailing 101-96 with under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, RJ Barrett stepped up. The Mississauga, Ont. product’s and-one cut Germany’s lead to just two before a defensive stop gave Canada the ball right back. Barrett stepped up yet again, driving hard to the rim before finishing in traffic to tie the game up at 101 apiece, ultimately sending the game to overtime.

In overtime, Kelly Olynyk's block of Moritz Wagner’s potential game-winning lay-in in the dying seconds helped Canada complete the comeback and emerge as DBB Super Cup champions.

Barrett led all scorers with 31 points on 13-14 shooting, including 4-4 from beyond-the-arc, in a heroic performance for Canada.

“Overall, he was outstanding.  Very efficient offensively,” said Jordi Fernández, head coach of Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team. “He’s been very clean with his decision-making, running the floor and attacking the paint, so this is exactly what we needed from him. This is exactly the production we want.”

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander chipped in 25 points of his own to go along with eight rebounds and six steals. Olynyk had 21 points and four rebounds on top of his game-winning block.

“It felt good. Shai, Kelly and the guys are out there making it easy for me to do my thing, but it's been a lot of fun,” Barrett said.

Canada advanced to the DBB Super Cup Final after a convincing 107-76 win over New Zealand on Saturday and now holds a 2-1 record through three of their five exhibition games ahead of the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023.

“It was good to play a game like this. It wasn’t perfect — we fouled a little bit too much to begin with — but then we adjusted and found a way to win,” Fernández said.

“It's exciting. We're nowhere near close to where we want to be right now. But today was a big step, and we just got to keep getting better every day,” Barrett said when asked about how a game like today makes him feel ahead of the World Cup.

The win was a bounce back following Canada’s 86-81 loss to Germany in the Senior Men’s National Team’s first exhibition game on Wednesday.

“Obviously, we lost the first game against them, and they’ve been a very good program for a long time, so to get a win like that and the hostile environment was huge for us,” Barrett said.

“I think this (game) was very important. We’re coming together, and we still have a lot of room to improve, but it was good to see that we did whatever it took to win. We made stops and made runs at the right time,” Fernández said. “I’m happy for the guys. Winning and winning on the road against a good team is always a good test. We’re in a good position, we just have to understand our ceiling is much higher and we have a lot of room to improve.”

German guard Dennis Schroder had a team-high 26 points on 6-10 shooting, while Franz Wagner chipped in 18 points of his own.

Eight points in the game’s opening quarter from RJ Barrett helped pace Canada in the early going, but Germany closed the quarter on an 8-0 run to take a six-point lead into the second.

Germany’s lead continued to grow as the game moved along, and held an 87-75 advantage with just six seconds remaining in the third quarter thanks to a pair of Moritz Wagner free throws. On the ensuing in-bounds pass, Trae-Bell Haynes sprinted the length of the floor before connecting on a desperation heave from beyond-the-arc to trim Germany’s lead to just nine as the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter.

From there, Canada went on to outscore Germany 23-14 in the fourth quarter — with 18 of the 23 coming from Gilgeous-Alexander and Barrett, who stepped up huge in the fourth.

Barrett continued his brilliance in overtime with six of Canada’s 12 points in the extra frame to help lead his country to victory in a hostile environment in Hamburg.

“I like where we’re at right now. I’m happy with the way these guys work and their attitude. They get one percent better each day. They’re bonding and building this team we all want to build,” Fernández said. “We cannot be satisfied. We should be happy with the win, but we should not be satisfied — we need to keep working. Seeing our growth is important. I think we’re on the right path, and I think we’ll be way better next game.”

Canada will now travel to Spain for a two-game exhibition series (August 17-18) at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes de Granada in Granada for their final World Cup tune-ups. Canada will face the hosts and defending FIBA Men’s World Cup champions, Spain, on August 17, before taking on Americas zone rivals, Dominican Republic, the following day, August 18.