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Kyle Wiltjer with team-high 19 points, Canada beats Venezuela to win group

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Kyle Wiltjer had 19 points and eight rebounds as Canada's men's basketball team secured first place in Group F with a 95-55 win over Venezuela on Sunday in FIBA World Cup qualifying.

Canada, which had already secured its place in the World Cup, finished group play with a 10-2 record for top spot while Venezuela fell to 9-3.

Phil Scrubb had 14 points and eight assists while as Melvin Ejim chipped in with 11 points and six boards.

The Canadians, who shot 50 per cent from the field, jumped out to a 16-point lead after one quarter and went into the break ahead 45-23. 

Yohanner Sifontes had a team-high 10 points for the opposition.

A total of 36 players played for Canada during qualifying, which started in 2017. Total air travel was over 2.3 million kilometres.

The Canadians clinched their berth for the World Cup starting Aug. 31 in China in early December with a 94-67 rout in Brazil.

The World Cup is the main qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Canada's last World Cup appearance was in 2010 in Turkey, where the Canadians went 0-5 with a first-round exit. The Canadian men haven't made an Olympic appearance since 2000 in Sydney.

The Canadian Press

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