Cavs’ Tristan Thompson to play for Canada in Manila OQT – report

Naveen Ganglani

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Cavs’ Tristan Thompson to play for Canada in Manila OQT – report
The addition of Thompson strengthens Canada's frontline as its bids for a spot in the Rio Olympics

MANILA, Philippines – Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson is reportedly set to join the Canadian national basketball team in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held in Manila next month at the Mall of Asia Arena.

A report by Chris Haynes of states that the 25-year-old Thompson will join team Canada as it competes for a ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Hoops Hype Canada later confirmed this on Twitter.

Canada is in Group A of the Manila OQT with Turkey and Senegal, while hometown Philippines, France, and New Zealand make up Group B. The Manila OQT is from July 5 to 10.

The top two nations from each group advance to the knockout stage, and the two winners from the semifinal round will meet in the championship match. Only the winning team will get to go to Rio.

The addition of Thompson, considered one of the best defenders and rebounders in the NBA, clearly helps Canada. 

Phoenix Suns assistant coach Jay Triano will head coach the Canadian team, which will have the services of NBA players like Cory Joseph, Joel Anthony, and Tyler Ennis. 

The NBA’s 2015 Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves, is not joining the team in Manila. Canada will also miss the services of NBA players Andrew Nicholson, Dwight Powell, and Nik Stauskas. 

Tristan Thompson, a native of Toronto, recently averaged 10.3 points and 10.1 rebounds a game for the Cleveland Cavaliers in their 7-game NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors.  –

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