As the Spanish National team prepares for the 2014 FIBA World Cup at the end of the month, Spain participated in an exhibition match with Canada Wednesday, as the Spaniards defeated the Canadians 82-70.
In 33:25 minutes, San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph led Canada in scoring with 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Joseph also tallied four assists, grabbed two rebounds, but did finish with four fouls. New York Knicks guard Jose Calderon started for Spain, and with Joseph defending him, he finished with two points in close to 20 minutes.
Spain came out with an early 25-12 lead by the end of the first quarter, and that lead would build to a 47-29 halftime lead. The Spanish lead reached its peak at 22, but the Canadians got withing 13 points going into the final quarter.
In the end, the Spanish frontcourt of Chicago Bulls’ Pau Gasol (20 points), Memphis Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol (15 points), and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Serge Ibaka (15 points), were too much for the Canadians, as the trio combined for 50 of Spain’s 82 points.
Though Joseph and Canada didn’t qualify for the World Cup, the team is trying to gain as much experience as possible for the future. Playing with Canada and leading the team might also be a confidence booster for Joseph, as he’ll enter training camp with the Spurs in October, likely as Tony Parker’s lead backup, since Patty Mills will miss anywhere from three to five months at the start of the NBA season, due to injury.