Cory Joseph scored 23 points as Canada pulled off a 78-72 win over New Zealand to enter into the FIBA Qualifying Tournament final in Manila, Philippines.
Joseph played with confidence and added four assist and two steals to help Canada. Tristan Thompson added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Canada to dominate the boards.
New Zealand had the lead 66-64 after the third quarter but the Kiwis faltered in the final quarter with the strong defense on Canada.
Melvin Ejim added 13 points while Anthony Bennett had nine points for Canada.
Corey Webster led the Kiwis with his 21 points while his brother Tai Jack Webster added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Canadians dominance in the paint produced a 44-28 advantage. “We’re a better shooting team than we’ve shown,” Canadian coach Jay Triano said. “We eventually have to make shots. We have one more game to get that done.”
New Zealand had a 25-23 lead in the first quarter while both teams were even at 42-42 at the half.