Spain might be ranked atop the FIBA leaderboard, but they don’t have a clue about how to stop squads playing out of North America.
Following on the United States of America’s victory over the Spaniards last Sunday, Canada faced the host nation and reigning FIBA World Cup Champs in a game that featured bonus basketball and ended up with the Maples getting another overtime victory beating Spain 85-80 on Thursday night in Granada.
This win marks the third in a row for Canada in their preparation for the upcoming World Cup with just one game left on their schedule and tipping off on Friday at the same place against the Dominican Republic, led by Karl-Anthony Towns.
After Brunson’s savage demolition of Spain last Sunday, RJ Barrett wasn’t going to let his fellow Knickerbocker come away with the Spaniard Slasher Crown, so he went on and put up 18 points on the board on Friday’s outing.
The near-20-point outcome came after RJ already dropped 31 pops on the foreheads of Germany in the last exhibition played by Canada a few days ago.
Barrett hit the floor running and banked in the first shot of the game from beyond the three-point line. At the other end of the game, already in OT, Barrett added six overtime points to his tally making it 18 through four quarters and change. The wing also put up numbers on the boards (two), dimes (one), and steals (two) columns.
The youngin finished the day going for an efficient 6-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. Not bad! He also went a near-perfect 4-of-5 from the charity stripe.
Even in the presence of OKC Thunder superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (22 points), Canada relied on Barrett once more to close the game given his six points in the fifth period, sealing the deal for Team Canada from the free-throw line late.
In other news, Evan Fournier played his 100th (!!!) game for France hitting double-digit points and finishing with 10 points in the 88-70 win of France against Japan in the latter’s country at Tokyo’s Ariake Arena.
Fournier added one rebound, two assists, one steal, and one block through 19 minutes of play after missing France’s last game with an ankle injury.
As we already noted earlier this month, all Fournier does with France and through the World Cup is and will be good news for the Knicks as he will keep rebuilding his value a bit after struggling early in the 2022/23 season in New York before ultimately getting benched.