Canada's men's basketball team to play Australia in two friendlies - InfoNews

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Canada's men's basketball team to play Australia in two friendlies

April 02, 2019 - 11:06 AM

TORONTO - Canada's men's basketball team will get an early look at Australia, one of the countries in its World Cup group.

Canada will take on Australia's Boomers in a pair of exhibition games Aug. 16 and 17 at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.

The World Cup, which is the main qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, tips off Aug. 31 in China.

The Canadians, who are 23rd on the most recent FIBA rankings, were drawn into basketball's "group of death" with Australia (No. 11), Lithuania (No. 6) and Senegal (32). They'll play their first-round games in Dongguan, an industrial city on China's south coast.

The top two teams in each group advance, and carry their records to the next round. The bottom two teams are bumped to the consolation side of the draw.

Canada hasn't had a team in the World Cup since a disastrous 22nd-place finish in 2010 in Turkey, where the team went 0-5.

The top seven countries in China will punch their tickets to the Olympics, where Canada's men's squad hasn't played since 2000 in Sydney.

The Olympic field features just 12 teams, and so Japan as host takes one of the five remaining spots, with the final four awarded at a last-chance qualifying event in 2020.

Canada last faced Australia in world championship action in 1998 — an 88-71 loss — and is 3-2 all-time against them at the world tournament.

New of the two exhibition games first came from a tweeted photo of a banner at a Perth train station showing the Boomers alongside Canadians Kelly Olynyk, Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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