Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Canada's women's basketball team defeated Serbia in the first match of the World Cup. CBC Sports

Kayla Alexander scored 13 points and Kia Nurse finished with nine in her first game in nearly a year, and Canada’s women’s basketball team started the FIBA ​​World Cup with a 67-60 win over Serbia on Thursday.

Nira Fields finished with 12 points, while Natalie Achonawa had 10 points and eight rebounds for the fourth-placed Canadians.

Yvonne Andersson led No. 10 Serbia with 18 points.

Team Canada head coach Victor Lapena said: “Kyla Alexander, having played several years at EuroLeague level, Canada, at age 32, is one of the most important Canadian players in our history.” “I’m so happy because she’s one of our leaders. Maybe she doesn’t talk too much, [with] his voice, [but] She speaks with her teammates, and everyone is like, ‘Kayla talked about it, let’s do it.'”

Nurse’s Night was a bright spot for Canadians. The Phoenix Mercury guard showed little rust in his first game since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a WNBA playoff game nearly a year ago, scoring Canada’s first points of the tournament and playing 19 minutes .

The game was a rematch of Canada’s opening game of the Tokyo Olympics. They stumbled out of the gate against the Serbs, a 72–68 loss, all but one that determined their fate in Tokyo.

look | Hamilton’s Kia Nurse returns from injury, helps Canada claim victory over Serbia

Kia Nurse helps Canada claim victory in FIBA ​​World Cup opener

Hamilton’s Kia Nurse, who missed the entire WNBA season with a torn ACL, scored 9 points in Canada’s 67-60 win over the Serbian in her first game at the FIBA ​​Women’s Basketball World Cup.

“I thought we did a good job coming together to finish the game,” said Shay Coley. “You know, all our hard work together over the past month and a half really showed through and we knew Serbia was going to come out very tough and aggressive, so just stick together and trust each other until the end. “

Achowa said earlier this week that the team played hard in Tokyo under high medal hopes.

Canada Basketball made some significant changes after the Olympics, appointing Spaniard Lapena as head coach, and adding Noel Quinn, head coach of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, as an assistant.

Canada had a poor start and were five points behind at the start. But he was late in the first quarter to move from 16-15 to second.

Bridget Carlton, left, Shay Koli, center, and Taya Hanson celebrate Canada’s victory over Serbia at the 2022 FIBA ​​Women’s Basketball World Cup. (Mark Metcalf/Getty Images)

The Canadian went up to five when Bridget Carleton drilled a three-pointer from a crosscourt pass from Laticia Amihere through second. Canada continued to build on their lead, and Alexander’s free throw to end the quarter sent the Canadians into the halftime break to lead 38–28.

In the third, Serbia narrowed the gap to eight points, but Achonava’s putback gave Canada a 54-41 lead with four seconds to spare.

Koli’s jump shot extended Canada’s 15 points to play with 6:45, but Serbia bounced back after eight two minutes. Nira Fields went from coast to coast to score after a steal, giving Canada 11 points with 2:22 to play. The Serb reduced the gap to seven with less than a minute to play, but it was already game over.

“I’m very happy,” Lapena said of his team’s effort defensively. “They don’t give up. They don’t rest on the court. When they rest on the court, it’s because they don’t realize it. As a coach, what more can I ask of them. working time and they count on my job, our [coaching staff], When you play with your best, when you play with your maximum potential, good things happen. We are not perfect but we are learning the process.”

Canada has had two World Cup bronze medals since 1979 and ’86. The Canadian was a quarter-finalist in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

He has been drawn into a tough Pool B in the 12-team World Cup. After this, on Friday, number 6 is France. Canada will also face Japan, the current Olympic silver medalist, host and number three Australia, and then a close group game against Mali.

The top four from each group advance to the quarter-finals on 29 September. The semi-finals are September 30, and the medals are October 1.

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