Fans can watch the Canada vs. France basketball game live online and see if the Canadian squad can pull off the upset and punch their ticket to the Rio Olympics.
The teams will meet Sunday in the final FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament final. After Serbia and Croatia already won their respective FIBA tournaments to earn a berth in the Olympics, the final game will be played in Manila, Philippines, between the French and Canadian squads.
The game kicks off at 9 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) and will be available live online for those hoping to follow along (a link to the streaming video can be found below).
For the Canadian team, the game is a chance to erase the heartbreak of last year’s FIBA Americas tournament, where they suffered an upset loss to Venezuela in the semifinal round. Sunday’s game will be their last hope to reach the Rio Olympics.
And to do so, they’ll have to face down a French team brimming with NBA talent. Led by Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, the French squad rolled into the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Finals by defeating No. 8 ranked Turkey.
Fans who watch the Canada vs. France basketball game live online could see quite a bit of drama. Canada is led by Toronto Raptors guard Cory Joseph, who worked closely with Tony Parker when the two were on the San Antonio Spurs together.
As the Toronto Star noted, Canada will need to turn up its level of intensity to compete with France, which is ranked No. 5 in the world according to FIBA. The Canadian team shot just 20 percent from behind the three-point arc in the team’s semifinal win over New Zealand, and in the last three games, has shot just 23 percent from deep.
That number needs to go up dramatically if Canada wants to win, noted coach Jay Triano.
“I think our confidence level in shooting the ball is down,” Triano told the Toronto Star.”We keep talking about we have to be so good defensively because there could be a game where you don’t make shots — well, we’ve had three where we haven’t made shots.
“Things have to turn for us, we’re not shooting the ball the way (we can) but I love the way the guys are fighting and we keep defending, we keep forcing tough shots, we keep forcing teams to shoot a low percentage against us. That gives us chance until we’re going to start making shots.”
It could be something of an upset story for Canada if they can pull it off. Though the Canadian team is infused with NBA talent — Joel Anthony, Cory Joseph, Tyler Ennis, Anthony Bennett, and Tristan Thompson — there are also a number of international regulars missing. Andrew Wiggins opted out. Kelly Olynyk is hurt. Andrew Nicholson and Dwight Powell were focused on NBA free agency.
But there have been a number of other players stepping up, including NBA D-Leaguer Melvin Ejim. As SportsNet noted, Ejim scored an important put-back of a Cory Joseph miss to give Canada a 76-71 lead in the final minute of Saturday’s win over New Zealand.
“But the more you watch Ejim play, the more you come to appreciate his abundant basketball IQ and the intelligent hustle (running to set screens at full speed, yet with good timing; constantly getting his hands on loose balls, or coming up with them in a crowd; sprinting to the right spot in transition to open lanes for others) that he plays with on every possession.”
Fans who want to watch the Canada vs. France basketball game live online can click here for streaming video from ESPN.
[Image via Instagram/FIBA]