Expectations of the uber talented Canadian Men’s Senior National Team were high as the team headed to Germany last week to kick-start their journey to the FIBA World Cup. A roster that’s been highly anticipated, the DBB Super Cup tournament in Germany was a first look at what this team may look like going into the FIBA tournament.
Though missing one star as Jamal Murray continues to ramp up in Toronto, NBA stars RJ Barrett, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Dillon Brooks, Kelly Olynyk and more suited up in three games over the last week.
Game one was against the host country, Germany, and coincidentally one of the newest Toronto Raptors — Dennis Schroder. Canada had a slow start, struggling offensively against the high shooting of the German team. By halftime, they were down 50-34. Though they recovered quite a bit in the second half, they still lost that first game 86-81. While the overall result was disappointing, there was a lot positives to take away from Canada’s game.
Next, the team played New Zealand. They added previous Team Canada standout Kenny Chery to the roster for this game. Things started out better for Canada this time, and by the end of the first quarter they were up 28-24 over New Zealand — but it was in the second quarter that they really boomed. Canada was up 67-38 at halftime.
Canada clinched their spot in the DBB Super Cup final with a dominant 107-76 win over New Zealand. Gilgeous-Alexander led the Canadians in their second game, scoring 26 points on 9-12 field goals. The next highest scorer was Kelly Olynyk with 13 points.
It was then time to face the home team AGAIN in the DBB Super Cup final. Unlike their first meeting, this game was close basically the entire game. Germany inched up after the first quarter with a six point advantage — but RJ Barrett’s impressive 5-5 from the field in the first half brought the Canadians up by one part-way through the second quarter.
By halftime, Germany was up 49-45.
The team came together to keep Canada in it, and it was again RJ Barrett who scored 25 points in regular time to tie the game and send it to overtime. 101-101 at the end of the fourth quarter.
Canada stayed locked in and won the game 114-113 at the end of overtime, winning the DBB Super Cup over the home team. RJ Barrett finished with 31 points, scoring 12 of 13 shots from the field.
Even with the slightly concerning start from the Canadian National Team, they pulled through in the end and proved why the world should be on watch this month.
They will now have two more exhibition games this week in Grenada, Spain. They play Team Spain on August 17, and the Dominican Republic on August 18. There is still no official word on whether or not Jamal Murray will be joining the team for these games or not. Murray played deep into June with the Denver Nuggets in the NBA and the Team Canada program is making sure he is 100% healthy before deciding.
Stay tuned for more updates as Canada heads to Spain this week!