MANILA, Philippines (Sept. 9, 2023) – Canada will meet USA on Sunday for a chance at the country's first-ever medal at the FIBA Men's Basketball World Cup.
Who: Canada (5-2) vs. USA (5-2)
When: Sunday, Sept. 9, 4:30 a.m. ET / 1:30 a.m. PT
Where: Mall of Asia Arena - Manila, Philippines
- Battling for the bronze: Canada and the USA are battling for third place and a bronze medal at the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023. While the USA have won 12 World Cup medals, including four bronze medals in program history, Canada will be competing for their first ever medal at a World Cup. The USA has won all seven previous meetings between the two teams at the World Cup, but it has been 37 years since their last World Cup meeting, in 1986.
- How we got here: Both teams enter Sunday’s game with identical 5-2 records. While Canada started its World Cup with a stunning 30-point victory against No. 5 ranked France, the USA opened action in Manila with a 99-72 win against New Zealand. Both teams won all three of their group phase games, with Canada suffering its first loss of the Tournament against Brazil and the USA falling to Lithuania in the second round. Both teams bounced back to win their next games and advance to the semifinals, where Germany stopped the USA in a 113-111 thriller, and Serbia took down Canada 95-86 to bring us to Sunday’s bronze medal game.
- Familiar faces: Canadian basketball fans will recognize plenty of faces on Team USA’s roster as the USA and Australia were the only teams with more NBA players representing their countries than Canada in this year’s World Cup. All 12 players on Team USA’s roster are on NBA rosters, with Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards leading the team in scoring at the World Cup, averaging 18.1 points per contest. Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges is adding 12.9 points and Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reeves is averaging 12.4 points per game. New York Knicks forward Josh Hart is leading the USA on the glass, averaging 5.9 rebounds and Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Halibuton is averaging 5.4 assists.
- Know your opponent: While Anthony Edwards is leading Team USA in scoring over the tournament, It’s been Mikal Bridges who has been USA’s best scorer in their previous three games as he has averaged 18.3 points over that stretch while the USA has also topped 100 points in each of the last three contests. The last time they scored 100 points in a longer stretch than three games at a World Cup was 1990-1994 where they did it seven consecutive games. Canada will need to take care of the ball on Sunday as Team USA are forcing more turnovers than any other team in Manila, with opponents turning the ball over 17 times, leading to 26.3 fast-break points per game.
- On the line: Though Canada has already qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics, they want to leave Manila with a medal. Friday’s loss to Serbia stopped Canada’s quest for a gold medal, but it didn’t break their resolve. Having already guaranteed the program’s best finish in a World Cup, Jordi Fernández’s team wants to continue making history. “It means the world,” Fernández said. “For our people at home, for these guys here, and everybody here, our front office, the board, just to go home with a medal is a great accomplishment. None of these guys have ever been in this position and I think to win it would mean we fought for something.”
- Finishing on a high: Canada is looking to finish the World Cup with a win, something they have done in only two of their last seven tournaments. Team Canada’s leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was held to 15 points in Friday’s loss to Serbia (to go along with a game-high nine assists), but he will finish this year’s World Cup as the first Canadian player to average at least 20 points per game at the tournament. When Jordi Fernández spoke with the media following Canada’s semifinals loss to Serbia, he had already turned the page from the disappointment of the loss to the excitement of getting to compete for a bronze medal against the USA on Sunday.“What we need to do now is bounce back and be excited for this next game,” Fernández said. “Me personally? I’m already excited. 10 minutes ago, I was really mad and now I’m really excited. We’re going to bounce back.”
With one final opportunity to lay it all on the line in the red and white, Canada is ready to go.
“We want to leave this tournament being hungry and thirsty and building this program all the way to the top,” Fernández said.
- Where to watch: Fans in Canada can catch all of the action live on Sportsnet, as well as streaming on SN Now.