Anthony Scrubbs Wiltjer among Canadians named to WCup qualifying roster

TORONTO — Former Miami Heat forward Joel Anthony and Carleton Ravens stars Phil and Thomas Scrubb headline Canada’s men’s basketball roster for two World Cup qualifying games next week.Canada takes a 7-1 record into next Friday’s game against Venezuela (7-1) in Caracas. The Canadians, who sit atop Group F, then head to Sao Paolo to face Brazil (6-2) on Dec. 3.“We are enormously proud that so many athletes have stepped up and are committed to serving the cause and our country,” said Canada’s coach Roy Rana. “We are developing a sacrifice and this group embodies the spirit of giving unconditionally to something that is greater than themselves.”Canada, which no longer has NBA players at its disposal for qualifying games, will hold camp Monday through Wednesday in Orlando before flying to Venezuela.The Canadians’ final two final qualifying games are at Mile One Centre in St. John’s, N.L., on Feb. 21 versus Chile and Feb. 24 against Venezuela. Canada has a chance to clinch a berth before those games. At the culmination of the second round, the three highest-placed teams from each group, and the top fourth-placed team between Group E and Group F qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, Aug. 31-Sept. 15.With 32 countries playing 92 games, the 2019 World Cup will be the biggest ever.The World Cup is the main qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Canadian men are gunning for their first Olympic berth since the 2000 Sydney Games.———Roster:Joel Anthony, Montreal, San Lorenzo Basket (Argentina); Aaron Best, Toronto, Risen Ludwigsburg (Germany); Brady Heslip, Burlington, Ont., Fraport Skyliners (Germany); Kaza Kajami-Keane, Ajax, Ont., Landstede Zwolle (Netherlands); Kyle Landry, Calgary, Buducnost (Montenegro); Conor Morgan, Victoria, Divina Seguros Joventut (Spain); Duane Notice, Woodbridge, Ont., BM Slam Stal (Poland); Dyshawn Pierre, Whitby, Ont., Raptors 905 (NBA G League); Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Markham, Ont., AEK Athens (Greece); Phil Scrubb, Richmond, B.C., Zenit Saint Petersburg (Russia); Thomas Scrubb, Richmond, B.C., Pallacanestro Varese (Italy); Kyle Wiltjer, Portland, Or., Unicaga Malaga (Spain). The Canadian Press read more