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Canada earns berth in semis at Olympic qualifying event with win over China

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VICTORIA — Canada's men's basketball team booked a spot in the semifinals in a last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament with a dominant 109-79 win over China Wednesday.

It was Canada's second consecutive win, following Tuesday's 97-91 victory over Greece in the opening game of the must-win tournament at Victoria's Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

Canada was paced again by their young NBA stars Andrew Wiggins with 20 points, and RJ Barrett with 16 points.

Eight NBA players are on the roster, widely considered the most talented Canadian men's basketball team in history for this week's tournament on home court.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans), Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City), Trey Lyles (San Antonio), Mychal Mulder (Golden State), Dwight Powell (Dallas), captain Cory Joseph (Detroit), Wiggins (Golden State) and Barrett (New York) comprise the NBA players.

The 12-man roster is rounded out by Trae Bell-Haynes, Anthony Bennett, Aaron Doornekamp and Andrew Nicholson.

Canada is ranked No. 21 in the world. 

Each team plays the other teams in its group once, and the top two teams in each group will advance to Saturday's semifinals.

Uruguay, Czech Republic and Turkey are in Group B.

The two semifinal winners will meet Sunday, with the winner clinching a spot in Tokyo.

In addition to Canada, there are three other last-chance tournaments happening this week to determine final spots, in Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia.

The Canadian women's team, ranked fourth, booked its third consecutive Olympic berth last February.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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