Cory Joseph led Canada to a big win over Brazil at the FIBA Americas Championship. (The Canadian Press)
Sunday's 91-62 win over Brazil at the FIBA Americas Championship in Caracas, Venezuela, offered the first glimpse into an exciting future for Canada on the international stage.
It was the first time the red and white had beat the perennial FIBA Americas powerhouse since 2003, a real sign of progress for a program on the rise.
The win brings Canada to 2-1 at the World Cup qualifying tournament providing a boost in their efforts to be one of the four remaining teams from the Americas region (the U.S. has already qualified) to advance to the 2014 tournament in Spain.
"[We played] three games in three days, I was really pleased with the energy level that we had," said head coach Jay Triano. "I think we matched if not had a better energy level than Brazil, who had a day off yesterday."
Cory Joseph, one of the young player's committed to the country's basketball future, led the way over Brazil with 28 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. Andrew Nicholson scored 13 points while Andy Rautins had 12 points.
Canada went to a bigger and more physical starting lineup on Sunday, inserting Aaron Doornekamp in place of Devoe Joseph, an adjustment borne out of the team's struggles to guard a similarly quick Puerto Rican backcourt on Saturday.
Canada has Monday off before wrapping up round-robin play against Uruguay on Tuesday (1:45 p.m. Eastern/10:45 a.m. Pacific, SN360).
The win against Brazil is certainly significant but Canada still needs to reach the semifinals to ensure qualification for the World Cup and that's where their focus remains.
"We're not thinking about [the World Cup in] Spain right now, we're thinking about Uruguay, that's our next game. We are a very inexperienced team but I think that we're getting better every time we step on the floor and that's our goal," said Triano. "Our goal is to get better every single time we play. We were better today than we were yesterday and we've got to make sure that we keep getting better and keep focusing on the game in front of us."
Keep getting better and the magnitude of the game's that Canada will have in front of them will continue to grow. It's just a matter of time.
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