Canada’s win over Argentina was a milestone. But it was also a statement to many people


In the scheme of things, it’s just one more step in a long process, but the real meaning is that Canada’s convincing win over Argentina last night in Victoria was a tiny bit more than that.

The 99-87 win brought Canada one step closer to what has always been a long-awaited berth at next year’s World Cup. At 7-0 and the only undefeated team of the 12 remaining in the qualifying process I haven’t done the math because I don’t do the math very well but I suspect they are one, maybe two , qualifying wins and it’s probably no later than November when they play home games against Panama and Venezuela.

But the way they fielded a good team of veterans with a long tradition of international success was certainly breathtaking.

Canada guarded tremendously, the frontcourt of Dwight Powell and Kelly Olynyk willingly hitting like the FIBA ​​greats should and the guard play was once again exemplary.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander may have been the best player in the last three games of any country remaining in the chase and before he fouled Nickeil Alexander-Walker looked just as comfortable.

What is victory over a team that had a majority of comebacks from a top-eight team at last year’s Olympics and a large number from the silver medal-winning team at the World Cup 2019 was validation for this group and proof that they are, indeed, a very, very good team that is blessed to be special.

Seeing tangible results by committing to playing for Canada is of the utmost importance and last night’s win was by far the biggest of the past two years.

Beating the Bahamas or the US Virgin Islands or other FIBA ​​Americas valves is one thing, expected and nothing to be happy about.

Managing Argentina? Yeah, it’s going to boost the confidence level and, trust me, the world is going to notice.

I’m not sure there’s a single question in Sunday’s Ye Olde Mailbag inbox and that’s just not acceptable.

So hit sometime today – even those of you who have been reluctant to play the game in the past – and see what we can come up with.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Well, most of you.

So Scarborough and basketball have certainly become bigger now with the advent of the CEBL Shooting Stars, but there is so much more.

My buddy Demo and his friends of a certain vintage had been looking for me for a while to join his weekly 55+ race.

It won’t happen – I have cardiologists and relatives who are totally against it – but Demo tells me they could use hot bodies for Wednesday games at John A. Macdonald. All skill levels are welcome – which is why I guess he asked me first – and it sounds like fun.

Look at him here and tell him I said hello.

Speaking of Ye Olde Mailbag and wanting to dwell on it tomorrow, maybe I don’t need to work too hard too late because the day is shaping up to be epic.

You have Alek Manoah versus Shohei Ohtani on what is supposed to be a brilliantly sunny and warm afternoon that includes a pre-game ceremony honoring the 1992 Blue Jays World Series champion team.

If it wasn’t set up to be a truly memorable day at the stadium, I don’t know what it would be.

It might fizzle – those things tend to – but I hope not and if I didn’t hate crowds and could get three seats in an aisle with great views with service in place I might be tempted to go.

Or I’ll find a patio with a great TV and sit down.

I was blessed to be No. 2 in the batting order for The People’s Wire Service covering this team and this series and that was really something.

I know Joe Carter’s home run and winning the Dome the following season might be the #1 memory of all time for Blue Jays fans, but there’s nothing better than doing something memorable the first time and I hope the ovations will be thundering and never ending for the players and coaches who will be there tomorrow.

It was a special team and moment around those games.

I’m a little surprised, in the most pleasant way, that there wasn’t an uproar when it was announced yesterday that Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren will miss his entire NBA rookie season after injuring his foot playing in a summer Pro- A m.

It sucks for him, it really does, and I hope he pulls through and has a long and successful career.

But it’s just a bad break and there’s no way to see it any other way.

NBA players will play ball during the offseason. Whether it’s in a fun Pro-Am race or for their country or in the Rico Hines race that the Raptors still consider a fundamental part of the team’s development program, the players will play.

And once in a while – rarely if you really look at the hard numbers, I’m sure – someone is going to get hurt. Heck, I seem to remember our old friend Ed Davis missing the first 30 games of his rookie Raptors season because he twisted his knee in a summer game here in Mississauga, I think that’s was the case.

It’s brutal and it’s not fair.

Kind of like life.


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