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The Shai show sees Canada emerge as World Cup contenders

There are players who are stars because of how they manifest their superiority, because of their talent or because of a differential aesthetic power. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added it all up as the first big name of the Basketball World Cup. He put up 27 points to leave France wounded (95-65) and relaunch Canada as a contender to topple the United States. Without the depth of the Stars and Stripes, but with similar slogans in their game in terms of energy and talent.

Behind it all is Jordi Fernandez, who makes no secret of the challenge. "We want, first, to secure a place at the Olympic Games in Paris and then achieve greater things," he told the microphones of Radio MARCA in Jakarta. They are missing Jamal Murray -that would be a step forward-, but Canada has conditions and level. Even more so with Shai's show.

"He's a megastar, without a doubt. He shows it every time he plays," said the player from Badalona. He changes the pace of everything, he makes the difference. Next to him, is a great team.

Shai celebra un triple.

Shai celebra un triple.ÁNGEL RIVERO

"It matters as much as the others do. I have veterans like Dwight Powell or Melvin Ejim and defensive leaders, Dillon Brooks or Alexander-Walker," added the Spanish coach.

The team is growing every time they get more playing time on the court. In Indonesia they started timidly, with little rhythm. They ended up scoring almost 100 points and exploring different options: the '4' for Brooks, knowing how to take Kelly Olynyk out... "It's good for us, the rest doesn't count.

For them and for those who are coming. We want to be a very strong programme," said Fernandez.

His summary is that of the Canadian national team. "Good players play good games," he said. But the team that was a revelation candidate and can think about being something more is a blow on the table.

There is a medal contender making their way into the World Cup. Shai's show is his first message.

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