Canada rose to the occasion, securing a significant victory over reigning champions Spain in their final second-round match at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
This marks the first time since 1994 that Spain has failed to advance to the World Cup Quarter-Finals. Conversely, Canada has clinched a spot in the top eight for the first time since 1994 as well.
With 1:32 remaining, RJ Barrett was called for his fifth foul. Subsequently, Willy Hernangomez made a couple of free throws, giving Spain their last lead at 80-77. However, from that point onwards, the game belonged entirely to Canada.
Dillon Brooks tied the score with a three-pointer, Gilgeous-Alexander sank a fadeaway shot, granting Canada an 82-80 advantage, and Lu Dort made a crucial steal with 26 seconds left, helping to secure this historic victory.
Canada’s triumph propelled them to first place in Group P, securing their spot in the Quarter-Finals and guaranteeing them a place in the Olympics.
Meanwhile, Spain’s hopes of defending their championship were dashed as they were eliminated from contention, relegating them to the Classification Round.
Watch the game highlights between Spain and Canada in the First Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: