FOZ DE IGUACU (FIBA Americas Championship) - The team has just finished their summer camp in Toronto and will meet Brazil on Wednesday at the Tuto Marchand Cup opener. Games against Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic will follow.
After losing five of their six preparation games in Europe, Canada beat Belgium twice back at home. Coach Leo Rautins knows how much the games in Brazil will help Canada prepare for the Olympic qualifying the next week.
Things should go differently from the European Tour as Cory Joseph, Joel Anthony, Carl English and Alex Hartman joined the team last week and travelled to Foz de Iguaçu.
Part of Canada's fate in international basketball is now placed on Joseph, a young point guard recently picked by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA draft.
Cory Joseph, just 19, will first have to adapt from College Basketball to facing experienced and talented players when the FIBA Americas starts later this month.
Joel Anthony and Carl English will add their experience to Rautins' staff.
"The biggest thing in these three games is prepping us, working on what we do," said Rautins to a Canadian newspaper from Brazil.
Canada has travelled to Brazil with 14 players but will have to choose only 12 for Mar del Plata. Therefore, Rautins will use these three games to decide the final roster.
But even more important, players and coaches will be able to compare Canada with three of the top teams in America.
Canada will also kick off the FIBA Americas against Brazil on August 31.
The top two finishers in the 10-team championship in Argentina advance to the London Games, while the third through fifth-place finishers make it to a qualifier next year.