Making an impression
Pan Am Games basketball pushes Maple Leafs, Blue Jays out of spotlight
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the sports world so far this summer is the strong performances by Canada at the Pan American Games in Toronto and specifically the basketball teams.
Nobody expected the women to win gold at these games and most were stunned at the manner in which Team Canada disposed of Team USA to win their first ever gold at the Games, which are run the year before the Olympics.
The Canadian men drubbed Mexico 96-76 on Thursday night to advance to Friday night’s semifinal against the USA, who lost 93-83 to Brazil. The men have never won a medal at the Pan Am Games and today they play for either bronze or gold.
Our own Bruce Rainnie and Halifax-based Mickey Fox, who was drafted in the NBA, will cover the play-by-play broadcast, which makes the game that much more interesting for us.
In this country even in the middle of the summer, hockey still commands attention. The Toronto Maple Leafs are all excited about signing Lou Lamoriello as their new GM, although at age 72 “new” is hardly appropriate.
The jury is still out on whether president Brendan Shanahan is competent or not and Lou is hardly my idea of a rebuild. Head coach Mike Babcock inherits a team that lacks size and will be without top scorer Phil Kessel. I don’t know if Lou will be around when the Leafs next make the playoffs.
Former Leaf David Clarkson has regained his scoring touch, his 10-foot putt at Belvedere July 23 lifted he and partner Trent Birt to victory over Calgary Flames development coach Troy Crowder and Bruce Guthro in the celebrity part of the Boys & Girls Club of Charlottetown tournament.
Former NHL defenceman Doug Bodger and his team of Ryan Power, Wade Hulbert and Jeff MacEachern shot a combined 56 to win Friday tournament, which raised a record $45,000 for the club.
In local golf, Tyler Hashmi is headed to the Canadian national junior next month and he’s only 15. He must get the golf prowess from his mother’s side.
Si Semalu, who was roughed up in last Saturday’s Governors Plate, has drawn the rail tonight in the $2,400 top class at the city track and he needs a confidence builder right now.
Racing is tough here at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park, but the big drop in class should get him to the winner’s circle. The field includes Forever Paradise, Jersey Joe, Cabo Pan Lucas, Tempo Seelster, Waterside Light, Likely to Win and Smiley Bayama.
The $7,500 Nova Scotia Exhibition Cup Invitational goes tonight at Truro and it should be a dandy as highly touted All Turain, The Rev, Mach It Big, Big Surf, R Caan and I’m Drinking Doubles have all drawn inside DGs Camme. The Rev setback in the Governors Plate was a terrible decision by the judges.
At Mohawk tonight, Dr. Ian Moore could win the two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes three-year-old colt finals, as he has Shoe Shine in one and Physically Inclined in the other.
At Saratoga tonight, Mark MacDonald drives Luck Be With You in the $260,000 Joe Gerrity memorial.