Title: Canada shakes off predictable slow start, gets first win on path to Olympic berth
Date: June 29, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Canada getting off to a 1-0 start at their Olympic qualifier and showing some growth along the way.
Canada’s latest first step toward Olympic qualification went exactly how Nick Nurse likely envisioned: An Arkells song played as the game opened. Andrew Wiggins led the team in scoring. R.J. Barrett got hot in the second half, flashing shades of his U19 gold medal-winning performance. With the game in the balance, defensive specialist Luguentz Dort forced a Greek turnover.
And with that, Canada won, 97-91 against Greece, opening the tournament at 1-0 in Victoria, B.C. The difficult format allows little room for error, and Canada now has what is an easier matchup on paper against China to lock in a berth in the semifinals.
Of course, with the Canadian men’s team, things never go quite like anyone actually envisions.