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Robertson, Gilgeous-Alexander lead Canada to rout of U.S. Virgin Islands

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Canada's Dwight Powell (7) takes a free throw as teammates look on during second half FIBA international men's World Cup basketball qualifying action against Dominican Republic, in Hamilton, Ont., Friday, July 1, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, United States — Kassius Robertson hit eight three-pointers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also had 24 points and Canada cruised to an easy 113-67 win over the U.S. Virgin Islands on Monday to improve to 6-0 in World Cup basketball qualifying.

Robertson and Gilgeous-Alexander each recorded their game-high points total in under 20 minutes of action.

Robertson, who plays for Obradoiro CAB in Spain, shot 61.5 per cent from behind the arc (8-for-13) to account for all his scoring.

Gilgeous-Alexander, who sat for most of the second half, was an efficient 84.6 per cent shooting (11-for-13) from the floor. It was a second straight big outing for the star Oklahoma City Thunder guard, who scored 32 points in his senior national team debut, a 20-point win over the Dominican Republic on Friday in his hometown of Hamilton.

Coach Nick Nurse started his four NBA players — Gilgeous-Alexander, Utah guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Dallas forward Dwight Powell and Detroit centre Kelly Olynyk — plus Canadian team veteran Melvin Ejim.

Alexander-Walker had a game-high seven assists along with 11 points (three three-pointers) and five rebounds, Powell had 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting and added six rebounds, and Olynyk had 11 points, five rebounds and four steals.

Thomas Scrubb added 13 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Laron Smith led the U.S. Virgin Islands with 14 points.

This was the third of six FIBA World Cup qualification windows. The final three are Aug. 22-30, Nov. 7-15 and Feb. 20-28. 

Seven teams from FIBA Americas will play at the 2023 World Cup, in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. The 32-team World Cup is a direct qualifier for the Paris Olympics.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press