Team Canada released the Men’s National team schedule leading up to the Olympic qualifiers in Manilla, Philippines from July 5-10th.
“We’re looking forward to getting together in June to begin preparations for Manila,” said Head Coach Jay Triano in a press release. “We have a tough competition ahead and are focusing on gaining as much international game experience as possible for our team.”
The team will get back together in Toronto to start training, which will take place June 10th-16th, before heading to Italy for a five game exhibition tournament. In Italy the Canadians will face off against 12th-ranked Croatia, 14th-ranked China and 16th-ranked Puerto Rico. China already qualified for the Olympics in 2015, while both Croatia and Puerto Rico will be playing in qualifiers of their own this summer.
In the Olympic Trials, Canada will start in Group A against 31st-ranked, Senegal and 8th-ranked Turkey. The Philippines, France and New Zealand will play in Group B. The top two teams from each Group will advance to a crossover semi-final, while the winner of the tournament will qualify for the Olympics.
France however, the toughest team Canada would expect to face in the tournament, will be without four of their best players in Manilla. Bouna Ndiaye, the agent for Evan Fournier (Orlando Magic), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz) and Ian Mahinmi (Indiana Pacers) announced that his players would not suit up for France in the summer as they all become free agents on July 1st. Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum will also be a free agent this summer, and is not expected to suit up.