Title: 905 Presences felt with Canadian National Team
Date: June 27, 2018
Original Source: Raptors905.com
Synopsis: I’m going to be helping Raptors.com and Raptors905.com out a bit this year. In my latest on the 905 side, I wrote about their imprint on the Canadian senior men’s national program.
Canada had just won with relative ease in the first game of the Pacific Rim Challenge against China. The final score – a 97-62 drubbing for the home side in their first exhibition ahead of the next set of FIBA Qualifiers later this week – mostly did the game justice, with one of the deepest Canada Basketball rosters ever over-matching a partial China squad. Even within that 35-point victory, though, head coach Jay Triano had a cause for umbrage: Wu Qian had gone off for 27 points in 27 minutes, drilling seven threes in the loss.
Qian is a fine player. He has deep range on his jumper, has FIBA Asia Cup experience, and is emerging as one of the Chinese Basketball Association’s most prolific scorers. Still, with a high-leverage game coming up against Dominican Republic, Triano wanted to make sure a defensive tone was set in the second meeting between the sides.
Enter Triano’s pair of Raptors 905 guards in Kaza Keane and Aaron Best, both of whom earned the start in the rematch two days later. The result? A definitive tone set on the defensive end, with China scoring just four points on 2-of-12 shooting with six turnovers in the first quarter. Qian would ultimately score 21 points in Canada’s 108-72 victory, but the message was sent early that Canada would be surrendering nothing easy on the perimeter or in transition if Keane and Best had anything to say about it.