Canada routs South Africa to book rematch with France at men's U23 wheelchair basketball worlds

·2 min read
Canada routed South Africa 71-30 to reach the ninth-place seeding game on Wednesday at the men's under-23 wheelchair basketball world championships in Phuket, Thailand. (Shingo ITO X-1 via @_IWBF/Twitter - image credit)
Canada routed South Africa 71-30 to reach the ninth-place seeding game on Wednesday at the men's under-23 wheelchair basketball world championships in Phuket, Thailand. (Shingo ITO X-1 via @_IWBF/Twitter - image credit)

Canada earned its second straight victory at the men's under-23 wheelchair basketball world championships on Wednesday, beating South Africa 71-30.

The win sends Canada into the ninth-place seeding game at the tournament in Phuket, Thailand. It'll play France, who it edged by two points earlier in the tournament.

"It's nice to get another win under our belt. We can see the confidence building in the group," said head coach Darrell Nordell. "We're doing a better job of playing a full 40 minutes and finishing teams."

Canada put the game away with a dominant stretch between the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third, over which it outscored South Africa 19-0.

Josh Brown scored 14 of his game-high 20 points to lead Canada in the first half, while also adding nine rebounds.

"Josh was our highest scorer today with 20 points and 45 per cent shooting from the field," Nordell said. "To win games, we want to be shooting 46 per cent or more, so he's right there."

Reed De'Aeth also contributed with a monstrous near-triple double, scoring 18 points, grabbing 18 rebounds and dishing nine assists. Collin Lalonde recorded 12 points, while Kyrell Sopotyk and Joel Ewert scored their first international points in the victory.

Canada plays France, whom it beat 58-56 in overtime on Tuesday, on Thursday at 12 a.m. ET.

"We have to be disciplined and play our game," Nordell said. "We know France has got some good cutters, but our press can work from time to time against them. We match up well against France, but they will be coming for us too."

The tournament is typically held every four years, but the 2021 edition was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada last reached the podium in 2001, its second straight gold medal after the inaugural tournament in 1997.

Player roster

  • Reed De'Aeth — Sherwood Park, Alta.

  • Collin Lalonde — St-Clet, Que.

  • Lionel Tamoki — Montreal

  • Gabriel Giguere — Drummondville, Que.

  • Austin MacLellan — Fredericton, N.B.

  • Josh Brown — East St. Paul, Man.

  • Ben Hagkull — Chilliwack, B.C.

  • Garrett Ostepchuk — Regina

  • Matthew Norris — Winnipeg

  • Mathew Wilton — Langley, B.C.

  • Joel Ewart — Prince George, B.C.

  • Kyrell Sopotyk — Saskatoon