The Canadians beat Cuba 82-66 this Sunday, at the FIBA Americas women’s basketball finals. As Kia Nurse advanced the team with 20 points, they won the gold medal for the game and it’s official – they have now qualified for the next year’s Olympic Games!
Nurse was honored as the most valuable player and she gushed, saying “This has been an incredible experience.” Natalie Achonwa scored 12 points for the team.
To be qualified now gives the team a whole year to practice their drills and plays. The Canadian team was unbeaten throughout the tournament, winning 14 consecutive games on home soil!
This is just the second time that Canada has arisen triumphant at the Americas tournament; the other win was a decade ago in 1995. Incidentally, America hosted that year as well. The Canadian team recently defeated the United States at the Pan American Games in Toronto for gold again! It’s no wonder they were all so pumped up for the game on Sunday.
It was indeed a dream come true for the captain of the Canadian team Kim Gaucher, who is now just as excited to both go to Rio and win games there as well. Canadian coach Lisa Thomaidis has seen how much the team has grown and thinks it’s a remarkable development for them.
Although the team had a tough start to the game - rambling 18-10, they made up for it in the second half – they closed out their win at 65-54!
According to Canadian ranks, opposing team Cuba ranked 3rd in America and 10th in the world. Leidys Oquendo led the Cuban team by scoring 25 points. Canada has played against Cuba before, twice in Mexico in 2013 and very recently, last Thursday; only to win again by 92-43.