Led by the young Andrew Wiggins, Canada appears on track to qualify for the Olympics in men’s basketball, which would be a first since Sydney 2000.
Wiggins T-wolves, the rookie in the NBA last season, has provided on average 15.5 points per game in the championship of the Americas FIBA at this point in the tournament.
Friday in the semifinals, the Maple Leaf will compete in Venezuela with at the stake a place in Rio in 2016.
The two nations have crossed swords on September 3, resulting in a 82-62 gain of Canada. The other semifinal Argentines Mexicans.
The Canadians dropped their first match of the competition 94-87, against Argentina, but they have won their seven matches since then by nearly 28 points on average.
“Canada has a team of a caliber that we had not seen for a long time in this tournament, said the coach of Venezuela, Nestor Garcia. They have an incredible level of talent. ”
The Canadian squad could count on nine NBA players including Anthony Bennett and Wiggins, teammates in Minnesota.
The most elite group is unquestionably Wiggins, 20, who has scored on average 16.9 points by 2014-15 in the NBA.
“It is a very high level player, ” said Canada’s coach Triano, who is also deputy with Portland in the NBA. It has adapted to anything we asked him here. He became a leader and a playmaker. ”
Wiggins is fifth in scoring in the tournament, but his minutes average is only 24.4. Argentina’s Luis Scola dominates with 22.4 points, but he played for nearly seven minutes longer than the Ontarian.
Triano leverages the depth of his club to bet on a more frequent rotation of its players.
“I feel better playing a little less often, because there I can maximize my time on the ground, said Wiggins. The intensity is greater and when I have to go to the bench, I know the guys will get along well. ”
The Canadian team was built by Steve Nash, former player of the NBA excellence, which became the CEO of the training in 2012.
He was among the starters of Canada in Sydney in 2000, when the team finished seventh. The country became an Olympic podium only once, and in Berlin in 1936, when collecting money.