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Canada gets revenge from 2016 in dominant win over France at FIBA World Cup

Photo via FIBA website.

Canada opened up the 2023 FIBA World Cup with an emphatic victory as they dominated France 95-65 on Thursday. The win was a sweet revenge for Canada, who lost to France in the 2016 Olympic Qualifying Tournament and missed out on a chance to go to Rio. Gave me Superbad vibes from when Jonah Hill called out Dave Franco for "pissing" his pants back in grade school. Well, Canada didn't forget, just like Jonah Hill cleverly replied in the movie, as they start off 1-0 in Group H vs. France.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put on a clinic, dropping a game-high 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting, along with six assists and a whopping thirteen rebounds. He was supported by team Captain Kelly Olynyk, who had 18 points and four rebounds, and Dillon Brooks, who added 12 points and four boards.

Canada’s defense was also impressive, capitalizing on 20 points off of France's turnovers meanwhile France only managed 4 points off TO's. Rudy Gobert, France’s star center and NBA Defensive Player of the Year, was limited to 8 points and nine rebounds. Nicolas Batum & Evan Fournier, France’s other NBA players, combined for only 21 points (all from Fournier).

Canada will face Latvia in their next game on Saturday, while France will try to bounce back against Lebanon. Canada is aiming to finish top two in Group H and advance to the second round, where they will face teams from Group G, which includes the USA, Turkey, China and Senegal.

Canada is also hoping to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics by placing top two among all Americas teams in the World Cup. The team hasn’t qualified for the Olympics since 2000.

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