Never known for the international success, the Canadian men’s national basketball team is on an upswing thanks to a crop of young talent. On Sunday, they took another big step with a win over the 7th ranked Turkish National Team, with a final of 72-66.
One of the leading men in victory for the Canadians was Lakers big man Robert Sacre, who finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Despite being without some key players, including Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, Canada held of Turkey, led by Cory Joseph‘s 19 points.
Sacre got the start at center for the up and coming squad, with fellow NBA players Joseph (Spurs) and Andrew Nicholson (Magic) starting alongside him. The trio led the way in scoring, with Nicholson scoring 12 of his own.
The Lakers big man was all but invisible in the team’s loss to Spain earlier in the week, but rebounded nicely in the start against Turkey. For the most part, Sacre has taken a back seat during his appearance this summer with the national team, typically coming off the bench behind Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk.
The former Gonzaga product is a fan favorite on the Lakers, but has been little more than a seldom used big man. His antics on the bench made him a crowd favorite at games and one of the better teammates around.
After a string of six games in six days before a three day break heading into the Turkey game, Canada will finish out it’s summer tour with a game Tuesday against Angola before returning home from Europe.