The Canadian National Team will play USA Basketball at the end of July.
It will be an exhibition game that should double as preparation for the Beijing Olympics. There are only three qualifying spots left, however. How good is a team led by Sam Dalembert while flanked by Levon Kendall, Carl English and Jermain Anderson? Can they beat the likes of Brazil, Greece, Germany and an always surprising Puerto Rico team?
Greece will be ready. They will host the qualifying tournament and their roster is pretty stable. In an interview with FIBA, Dirk Nowitzki stated that reaching Beijing is his dream and it required his team’s entire focus. Nowitzki will undoubtedly be gunning after another disappointing finish to his NBA season.
At the FIBA Americas Championship, these guys went 4-4 with one quality win against Mexico. They dropped decisions to Argentina, USA, Puerto Rico and Brazil — the latter two teams they will have to face in the upcoming tournament.
Brazil will show up with Leandro Barbosa, Anderson Varejao, Nene, Rafael Araujo and the enigmatic Tiago Splitter. That’s nothing to sneeze at, especially in international competition. Things don’t look great for the ol’ Maple Leaf.
National teams already set to dance are Angola, Argentina, Australia, China, Iran, Lithuania, Russia, Spain and USA.