The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team got off to a solid start on Thursday evening when they took care of business and were able to get an easy blowout victory and won by a final score of 110-53. They are now 1-0.
Coming into this tournament, Canada was going to have a bit of extra motivation to play well because this particular tournament was going to be held in Edmonton so the Canadians knew they would have to play well in front of the home crowd. Not only that, but Kia Nurse would have extra motivation to play well as a large majority of her extended family is in Edmonton for the weekend to watch both Kia and her brother Darnell (who plays for the Edmonton Oilers) in their respective games.
Kia Nurse did not disappoint. After Canada got off to a sluggish start in the first quarter, Kia came in the ball game and was aggressive in getting to the rim and getting steals. She shot the ball well and was the best player on the floor tonight. She finished with a game high 28 points. Cuba just did not have the players to deal with Team Canada and they were not able to get Canada into foul trouble where Canada doubled up at the FT line. They also did not shoot the ball well either and shot 30% from the floor. Canada just had too much size and too much depth which overwhelmed the Cubans.
Like I mentioned in my preview, Canada should sweep the tournament and they started it off with a bang. After getting the day off tomorrow, they are back in action against Puerto Rico on Saturday at 5:00 pm local time, 7:00 pm EST and 4 pm PST.
The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team gets underway tonight in Edmonton as they host Cuba in the first of three games of the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournaments. This is the second tournament that Team Canada will participate in and there is a final Olympic qualifying tournament in February.
Team Canada has become more and more successful at FIBA Olympic qualifying tournaments and in this particular tournament, they should have no problem winning the tournament. The opponents that they will face are Cuba which tips off tonight, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. They should have no problem winning all three games. Team Canada has risen and become a much stronger team thanks in large part to their coaches as well as a strong group of players as well. This is a deep Canadian senior women’s national team and it should get even better as the year goes on when Team Canada will face stronger competition down the line. Also of note, certain long time players will get the media attention such as Natalie Achonwa, Kia Nurse, Kim Gaucher, Miranda Ayim, etc but don’t forget about the upcoming future stars such as Aliyah Edwards and Shaina Pellington. Those two have a bright future ahead of them.
As of now, as mentioned above, they will face Cuba tonight at 7:30 pm local time, Puerto Rico on Saturday at 5:00 pm local time, and Dominican Republic at 4:00 pm local time.
For more details on the Canadian FIBA Qualifying Tournaments and who will play for the national team in this tournament, please read Canada Basketball’s press release.
It should be a fun tournament and I hope the people in Edmonton come out and support these women.
*I know this blog post is one week late, and the medals already have been awarded and the results sorted but I got extremely busy last weekend and then got really lazy, so now I finally have written this blog post. Apologies to my blog readers who keep an eye on the Team Canada women’s basketball team*
Puerto Rico – The United States is golden once again, this time in the FIBA AmeriCup Tournament. Canada fought as it could, but the US proved too much for Team Canada to handle and they won the gold medal back from Canada. Canada was the two time defending champion in this tournament.
Both the US and Canada were playing in their fifth game in six days and exhaustion showed in the game. Canada was also down two key starters, centre Kayla Alexander and point guard Miah Marie Langlois. Kayla Alexander was brilliant for Team Canada in the first couple of games before going down with a leg injury in the semi final. Canada missed her production against the United States forwards. Kayla Alexander was also named one of the FIBA All Star Five for her performance at the tournament.
Nonetheless, Canada still fought as much as they could but the depth of the United States wore them off. Canada finished with a silver medal and qualified for the next round of FIBA Olympic qualifying which will take place in Edmonton, Alberta from Nov. 16th to Nov. 19th. Canada needs to finish in the top six in that tournament to qualify for the last Olympic qualifier which will take place before the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
Canada proved their worth as a rising basketball nation as they have had worthy prospects playing both in the WNBA and NBA in the past few years and it speaks to Canada’s talent level that the US took part in this tournament since they rarely participate in them. Canada now has to put it’s roster together for November and it may include Kia Nurse and Natalie Achonwa, who did not participate in this FIBA Americas Tournament. Both of them are Team Canada standouts and if they are not on the roster in November, they definitely will be on the Olympic roster.
The defending champion in this tournament, the Canadians wasted no time this afternoon as they got underway in Puerto Rico for the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup. They got off to a hot start and led 18-0 early in the first quarter and were up by 31 at half time. The final score was 109-53 and Canada was in full control
The hot start continued in the second half and Kayla Alexander led the way. The Mexicans had no answer for the Canadian front court and Alexander took advantage of it. She finished with a double double and was a couple of assists away from a triple double. Kayla Alexander made sure to leave a lasting impression as she often got left off of Team Canada due to injuries and or other reasons.
Alongside Kayla Alexander, six other players were in double figures. Canada looked very good in this game and now have to do the same tomorrow evening versus Cuba. That game tips off at 5:30 pm EST. Canada needs to finish in the top 8 in order to qualify for the next Olympic qualifying tournament held in November.
The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team’s quest to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics starts tomorrow at the FIBA AmeriCup Tournament which is being held in Puerto Rico. This tournament is one of two qualifying tournaments that take place to qualify countries for the Olympics.
This tournament lasts for one week and a top 8 finish qualifies Canada for the next Olympic qualifying tournament which will take place in November. Canada is the defending champion in this tournament and will look to defend their title against fellow powerhouse United States. The US rarely plays in these qualifying tournaments but they are sending a team to compete. This tournament focuses on countries located in the Americas.
Canada is sending 12 players who have a variety of international experience, WNBA experience and several new players who are playing for Canada for the first time. They will need to integrate quickly in order for Canada to succeed. Canada’s first game is tomorrow against Mexico at 12:30 pm EST/9:30 pm PST. They then play Cuba on Monday, Puerto Rico on Tuesday and the Dominican Republic on Thursday. The semi finals and final take place on Sept 28th and Sept 29th.
Alot of the players that are currently playing in this tournament for Team Canada will have an opportunity to prove themselves and to make an impression so that they can be in consideration for other international tournaments as well as the FIBA World Cup/Olympics.
Canada is currently ranked 5th in the world and should do well in this tournament. Winning the title will be more difficult this time around but they should still finish among the top. The games will be available to watch on DAZN in Canada and ESPN+ in the US.