Canada and Australia will play their first game of the FIBA World Cup when they face off at the Dongguan Basketball Center.
This game will be the sixth time these two teams are playing each other at the World Cup. The two sides are arguably in the ‘Group of death’ in China. Senegal and Lithuania are the other two sides in Group H. Canada know that getting to the knockout stages will be tricky for them. Ranked 23rd in the world, they will be hoping to get their World Cup campaign off to a winning start against Australia.Embed from Getty Images
Canada lost just 2 out of 12 games in the Americas Qualifiers. But their record at the World Cup in recent years has been disappointing. They missed out the last edition in Spain altogether. In the before that in Turkey, they failed to win a single game. Canada lost to Lebanon, Lithuania, France, New Zealand and Spain to finish with a 0-5 record in 2010. In Japan 2006, they failed to qualify again. Canada edition have gone a long period without a World Cup win. Their last win was against Senegal in the 1998 tournament.
However, veteran Kelly Olynyk is confident of their chances. Olynyk averaged 16.0 points, 11.0 rebounds 4.0 assists, 2.7 steals in three games in the qualifiers. “It’s a very, very competitive group, that is for sure,” he said. “Senegal have a good team, with guys such as Gorgui Dieng who is a very tough centre, and Lithuania and Australia are very good ones too,” Olynyk told FIBA.basketball.
Despite the tough teams in the group, Olynyk was confident of their ability. “We all know what they’re capable of, and they have rosters loaded with many talented players,” he said. “All the guys they have in the NBA, plus the guys who play in top teams in Europe, they have the potential to have great runs this summer. Our first goal will be to have a great First Round and try to finish in the (group’s) first spot.Embed from Getty Images
Australia will go to the World Cup with a squad loaded with NBA talent. The likes of Ben Simmons, Patty Mills, and Joe Ingles will lead their charge. A veteran side led Australia to fourth place at the 2016 Olympic Games. Other NBA players like Thon Maker, Andrew Bogut, and Matthew Dellavedova will also suit up for the Aussies.
Despite not having many of their best players, Australia cruised through the qualifying stages. But they will hope to continue that on the big stage. The Boomers are aiming to finish on the podium for the first time in the World Cup.
Canada vs Australia Match Prediction
Australia will be the favorites for this one, and they should have enough to beat Canada. The likes of Simmons, Mills, and Ingles should perform for the Boomers. Australia have the experience as well as the talent to beat Canada. They should get the win quickly, by a margin of 10 points or more.