Canada punches ticket to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games with win over Sweden.

team canada

The Canadian Senior Women’s Basketball Team have punched their ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. This is the third straight Olympic Games that the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team has qualified for. This is the first Olympic Games that the Canadian team can seriously be in medal contention. This is also why CBC Sports decided to air the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament because they knew this Canada team was good. Very good.

As for the game itself, Canada had a sluggish start. They had 11 turnovers. It was ugly. Canada led by six at half. Then in the third quarter, Canada’s offence got going as a team and Natalie Achonwa led in scoring with 16 points. Canada cruised after that because Sweden has a tight rotation and could not keep up with the Canadians. They were faster, defended better and were able to score at ease. It is fitting that Natalie Achonwa led the way in scoring, because she has been a mainstay for the Canadians since she was a teenager. She was apart of the new wave that has led to the team we see today that has veteran experience and youth.

 

Canada survives Belgium in opening game of FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament

kia nurse, team canada

The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team opened Olympic qualifying in Ostend, Belgium with a win over the host Belgium. It was not easy as Belgium was powered by the crowd as well as WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meeseman and her team mates. Canada was led by Kia Nurse who had 19 points.

Canada battled Belgium but was able to maintain a lead throughout the game and were able to hold on when Belgium started making a late push towards the end of the third quarter. Canada’s defense helped key the victory and Kia Nurse’s play making ability helped separate the Canadians and eventually Canada held on to win. It was not pretty however. Belgium made it it a two point game with about 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter and had multiple opportunities to tie the game but Canada was able to hold them off and Kayla Alexander made two free throws with about 10 seconds left in the game that ultimately sealed the deal.

Canada was tested in their first game and they were able to escape with a key victory as they only need one more win to qualify for the 2020 Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan. They now face Sweden on Saturday, February 8th at 2:30 pm EST and that game will be live streaming on cbc.ca as the game will be on tape delay on CBC which will air that game around 1:30 am EST. For Americans, the game will be available on ESPN+ and for international viewers, livebasketball.tv is offering the games.

Canadian Senior Women National Team Olympic Qualifying Tournament Preview

nayo raincock-ekunkwe, new york liberty.

The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team is set to face in the final Olympic qualifying tournament which tips off on Thursday afternoon in Ostend, Belgium. Canada will face Belgium, Sweden and Japan in this tournament.

In order to qualify for the Olympics, Canada must finish in the top 2 as Japan has already qualified for the tournament since they are the host nation.

Canada will be tested in this final Olympic qualifying tournament as Belgium, Sweden and Japan are worthy opponents.

Belgium, the host nation is ranked 9th in the world but have never qualified for the Summer Olympics before. They hope to change that led by Washington Mystics forward Emma Messeman who is apart of the reigning WNBA champions. Kim Mestdagh and Ann Wauters are also familiar names that will try to help Belgium make history. They will be a tough team to battle.

Japan, which does not need this tournament to qualify as they have already qualified due to the Olympic host nation, are ranked 10th in the world. They finished in 8th place at the 2016 Olympics. They will still be a tough team to face as they have nothing to lose and are using this tournament as a tune up for the Olympics.

Sweden, who is ranked 22nd in the world, has never qualified for the Olympics just like Belgium. They are led by New York Liberty forward/center Amanda Zahui B. Farhiya Abdi and Elin Eldebrink are familiar names that aim to make history.

Canada will be led by veteran forwards Kim Gaucher and Miranda Ayim and WNBA stars Kia Nurse and Natalie Achonwa. 5 players have played in the 2019 WNBA season (Achonwa, Nurse, Alexander, Carleton, Raincock-Ekunwe) and Jamie Scott has some WNBA experience. 2 players (Amihere and Pellington) are currently playing in college. Canada has tons of experience in this group and to view the final roster, please read the press release Canada Basketball put out today.

Canada faces Belgium on Thursday, February 6th at 2:35 pm EST/11:35 am PST on CBC Network and streaming online at cbc.ca. Canada faces Sweden on Saturday, February 8th at 2:35 pm EST/11:35 am PST on CBC Network and online at cbc.ca. Canada’s final game will be against Japan on Sunday, February 9th at 12:05 pm EST/9:05 am PST and that will also air on CBC Network and online at cbc.ca. To Americans, all three games are available to stream online on ESPN+.

Canada is ranked a program high of 4th place but it has bigger goals in mind as the team prepares for the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament. It will face tough opponents in this tourney but Canada now has plenty of veteran experience, youth and grittiness within the squad that will help them obtain a top 2 finish and all of Canada will be able to witness it as it is available through CBC.

The 2020 Summer Olympics games will tip off from July 24th to August 9 in Tokyo, Japan.

Canada blows out Cuba in the first game of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Edmonton

bridget carleton

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.

Canadian Senior National Women’s Basketball Team preview of FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in Edmonton

kia nurse

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.