Canada survives close call against New Zealand to advance

Naveen Ganglani
Canada survives close call against New Zealand to advance

Martin San Diego

Canada awaits the winner of France vs. Turkey to determine whom it faces in the finals

MANILA, Philippines – The Canadian national basketball team held on late in the fourth quarter to escape with a 78-72 victory over New Zealand and make the finals of the FIBA Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Saturday, July 9, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Canada will face the winner of Saturday’s game between France and Turkey in the finals, with a ticket to the Rio Olympics on the line.

Cory Joseph led the way again for the Canadians with 20 points, 5 boards, and 4 assists, while Tristan Thompson had his best game of the tournament with 13 points and 10 boards.

The game-clinching moment came with 20 seconds left when Melvin Ejim grabbed an offensive rebound, scored on a put-back, and got the continuation to put Canada ahead 77-71.

New Zealand didn’t recover from there. The Kiwis were led by the 21 points of Corey Webster. His brother Tai helped out with 15 points and 10 boards.

The New Zealand national team is now eliminated after 3 games in the tournament which included winning against the hometown team Philippines and losing close games to France and Canada. –

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