Ben­nett, An­thony top pre­lim­i­nary list for FIBA Bas­ket­ball World Cup qual­i­fy­ing

The Niagara Falls Review - - SPORTS -

TORONTO — An­thony Ben­nett and Joel An­thony head­line the pre­lim­i­nary ros­ter for Canada’s pair of FIBA Bas­ket­ball World Cup qual­i­fy­ing games this month.

“This group of young men em­body the pas­sion and sac­ri­fice needed to be suc­cess­ful in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion,” head coach Roy Rana said in a re­lease. “I ad­mire their com­mit­ment to Canada, and I hope all Cana­di­ans will sup­port us loudly in Halifax and across the coun­try.”

Canada will open World Cup qual­i­fy­ing ver­sus the Ba­hamas on Nov. 24 in Halifax. They’ll then travel to face the Do­mini­can Repub­lic on Nov. 27 in San­ti­ago de los Ca­balleros.

FIBA’s new qual­i­fy­ing for­mat poses a unique chal­lenge, be­cause of a lack of player avail­abil­ity at this time of the year. Canada has 11 play­ers in the NBA.

Ben­nett and An­thony aren’t cur­rently on an NBA ros­ter.

The team’s pre­lim­i­nary ros­ter also fea­tures six play­ers from the G-League, in­clud­ing Richard Amardi, Aaron Best, and Kaza Keane of the Rap­tors 905.

Ben­nett was drafted No. 1 over­all in 2013 by Cleve­land, but has bounced around var­i­ous leagues since, and now plays for North­ern Ari­zona of the G-League. An­thony played 10 sea­sons in the NBA, seven of them with Mi­ami.

Canada will also face the U.S. Vir­gin Is­lands in Amer­i­cas Qual­i­fiers, which fea­ture 16 teams com­pet­ing for seven World Cup spots, in a home and away for­mat.

FIBA’s new qual­i­fy­ing for­mat sees 80 coun­tries bat­tle over a two-year pe­riod for the World Cup, Aug. 31-Sept. 15, 2019 in China.

Canada’s men’s team is cur­rently ranked eighth in the Amer­i­cas and 25th glob­ally.

POST­MEDIA NET­WORK FILES

An­thony Ben­nett poses for a pic­ture in 2015 when he was a mem­ber of the Toronto Rap­tors. Ben­nett, who is not on an NBA ros­ter, and Joel An­thony head­line the pre­lim­i­nary ros­ter for Canada’s pair of FIBA Bas­ket­ball World Cup qual­i­fy­ing games this month.

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