Kyle Wiltjer scored 24 points as the Canadian men’s basketball team closed its second window of FIBA World Cup qualifying, routing the U.S. Virgin Islands 94-46 Sunday to remain undefeated.
Wiltjer drilled six three-pointers in the win as Canada, in general, shot the lights out from deep, going 15-of-33.
And defensively, Canada was solid, holding the U.S. Virgin Islands to 26.7 per cent shooting from the floor while turning them over 19 times.
The Canadian led the Virgin Islands by as much as 51 in the contest.
Canada beat the Dominican Republic on Saturday, 85-79, in the first of this two-game qualifying window.
With the 48-point victory over the Virgin Islands, Canada now carries an overall point differential of plus-132 through four qualifying games.
Rakeem Christmas, who has had a cup of coffee in the NBA before, led all Virgin Islands scorers with 15 points.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup will begin Aug. 25, 2023, hosted by Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.
Reaching The FIBA World Cup is an important first step in reaching the 2024 Paris Games. A good part of Olympic qualification is directly tied to World Cup results.
Playing in the second of a six-window process, Canada is now 4-0 so far in its qualifying campaign and atop of Group C in the Americas qualifiers as the only undefeated team in the group.
Canada will next play in the third qualifying window on July 1 and 4, once again against the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands, at a location that is still to be determined.
Given the timing of the third window, there’s a chance that some of Canada’s high-level NBA talent, who were not present during this second window, will be available to play then.
Following the third window’s conclusion the fourth-place team in each of the four groups in the Americas region will be eliminated and the qualification process will then enter the second round where the top-three teams in each of the groups will then be split into two new groups.
In Canada’s case, should it make it out of the first round, it would enter a new group with the two other top Group C finisher and the top-three finishers of Group A, which features Argentina, Panama, Paraguay and Venezuela.
From these two new groups, the top-three finishers from each of them and the better fourth-place finisher between the two groups will advance to the FIBA World Cup.
In order to determine the better fourth-place finisher, overall record, including from the first round, will be taken into account. As well, in the event of identical records, point differential is an important determining factor in tiebreakers.
The Canadian men’s basketball team hasn’t reached an Olympic Games since 2000.