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Canada heading to Victoria with unblemished record in basketball World Cup qualifying

CANADA 113 - U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 67 Next stop, Blanshard Street. Canada will bring a 6-0 record into its second-round FIBA 2023 World Cup basketball qualifying game on Aug.
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Canada's Dwight Powell (7) takes a free throw as teammates look on during second half FIBA international men's World Cup basketball qualifying action against Dominican Republic, in Hamilton, Ont., Friday, July 1, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

CANADA 113 - U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 67

Next stop, Blanshard Street. Canada will bring a 6-0 record into its second-round FIBA 2023 World Cup basketball qualifying game on Aug. 25 at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre after concluding the first round on Monday with a 113-67 win over the U.S. Virgin Islands in St. Thomas.

NBA players Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder scored 24 points, Dwight Powell of the Dallas Mavericks 15 and Nickeil Alexander-Walker of the Utah Jazz and Kamloops’ Kelly Olynyk of the Detroit Pistons 11 each. Canada’s unblemished first-round record will carry into the second round, in which Canada will open Group E with the game in Victoria against Argentina or Venezuela.

Other NBA players who have committed to the 2023 World Cup Philippines/Japan and 2024 Paris Olympics cycle are Jamal Murray, R.J. Barrett, Khem Birch, Luguentz Dort, Oshae Brissett, Kevin Pangos and Cory Joseph, and they will join the Nick Nurse-coached national team in the Victoria game.

The top seven finishers in the World Cup will join host France as the first eight qualifiers for the 12-team 2024 Olympic tournament with the final teams to be determined in four last-chance qualifiers. The latter is something Canada wants to avoid after losing last summer to the Czechs in the last-chance qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics at the Memorial Centre.

Canada has not been to the Olympics since it was captained at Sydney 2000 by Steve Nash of Victoria.

Tickets sales for the game in Victoria begin on July 15 at selectyourtickets.com.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com