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Sacramento Kings guard Cory Joseph joins Canada's World Cup team in China

DONGGUAN, China — Cory Joseph has joined Canada's men's basketball team ahead of the FIBA World Cup.

The 28-year-old from Pickering, Ont., played in the team's two exhibition games against Nigeria in Canada, but skipped the squad's pre-World Cup trip to Australia.

Joseph's presence is good news for a Canadian squad that's seen numerous big names decide to pass on the World Cup, which opens Saturday in various venues in China.

Orlando Magic forward Khem Birch is the only other NBA player for Canada, which tips off the World Cup on Sunday against Australia.

Miami Heat centre Kelly Olynyk pulled out after injuring his knee in Canada's first game against Nigeria.

Other big names not with Canada include Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, R.J. Barrett, Tristan Thompson, Dwight Powell, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Boucher and Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

Canada finished 4-3 in pre-World Cup action, splitting a pair of games with Australia and Nigeria, beating New Zealand twice, then dropping an ugly 84-68 decision to the U.S. on Monday.

The World Cup is the main qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The top seven finishers in China earn automatic Olympic berths.

Lori Ewing , The Canadian Press