After a 2nd place finish in Pool B, England will face off against Canada in tomorrow’s Qualifying Round game for a chance to play New Zealand in Saturday’s Semi Finals. The match sees Team England switch locations to Cairns after playing all their games to date in Townsville, whereas the North American side have the luxury of consistency having already played their 3 fixtures in the Cairns Convention Centre.
“It has been a straightforward transition to the new surroundings,” said Head Coach Andreas Kapoulas. “The trip from Townsville to Cairns was smooth and we’ve had an opportunity to visit the arena to watch Canada play their final Pool A game. We also have an off day today to travel so it’s been good to get some rest and recover ahead of tomorrow's game.”
Canada were outclassed in their opening game against hosts Australia but bounced back to beat Nigeria, eventually finishing with a 1-2 record after a final loss to New Zealand. Despite their struggles, Kapoulas knows that tomorrow’s opponents represent a real threat, “Canada are a talented young side with high level of athleticism and skill. They have improved very much since we played them during our preparations in Brisbane and that was evident in their game against New Zealand.”
“They have very good guard play from the likes of Justus Alleyn, Ammanuel Diressa and Munis Tutu, as well as physical, skilled bigs in Conor Morgan and Erik Nissen.”
Diressa and Alleyn were the main offensive catalysts in Canada’s victory against Nigeria, each dropping 24 points in the 82-67 win. 6’9” Morgan has led his team in rebounding in two of their Pool A games, showing his quality with the ball to record a team high 4 assists against the African side. It is worth noting that no player on the Canadian team is over 25, presenting Team England with a somewhat unique opponent.
Kapoulas says that the message to his team since their recent win over Cameroon has been simple, “Everyone knows the importance of this game. We have focused on the process of getting better every day and now we have the opportunity to advance to the Semi Finals. Our players wear the England shirt with pride and we will give everything we have to make the country proud.”
Date: Tuesday 10 April
Stage: Qualifying Finals
How to follow: We’ll have coverage and commentary throughout the game on our Twitter feed, @bballengland. If the game is chosen for live streaming, we'll advertise the link on our social media channels.