Cleveland Cavaliers centre Tristan Thompson, Toronto Raptors guard and Pickering,Ont native Cory Joseph and Detroit Pistons forward Joel Anthony were all named to Canada’s 12-man roster on Sunday for the six-team Olympic qualifying tournament.
Canada went 4-1 in a European exhibition tournament, taking on China, Croatia, Italy and Puerto Rico. Joseph and Anthony joined the group for the June 29th win over Puerto Rico, and Thompson met the team in Manila, Philippines, where the qualifying tournament begins on July 5.
“Our goal is to qualify for the Olympics,” said head coach Jay Triano. “We are focused on one practice at a time and one game at a time.”
Canada will play in Group A taking on Turkey on July 5 and Senegal on July 6. The Philippines, France and New Zealand will play in Group B. The top two teams from each group in the preliminary rounds will move on to the semi-final crossover games. The top two teams will then compete in the finals, with the champion qualifying for Rio.
“We are facing some of the top teams at the qualifier and have prepared by completing a rigorous preparation schedule in Europe,” said Canada’s general manager Steve Nash. “We have a tremendous opportunity to achieve an Olympic berth and our players and staff will be doing everything possible to achieve our goal of qualifying for Rio.”
(The Canadian Press)<