3D Global Sports, representing team Canada, defended their championship title at the 40th William Jones Cup, and brought home the gold.
The William Jones Cup, held in Taipei, Taiwan, is named after Renato William Jones, hoouring his contribution to the world of basketball as the founder and first serving Secretary General of Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA) in 1932.
Last Day of the Tournament
July 22, 2018, marked the the final day of the 40th William Jones Cup men's tournament. Each participating team had one game left in their schedule. There was a three-way tie for first place with the National B Team of Iran, National Team of South Korea and Canada (3D Global Sports) each sporting a record of 6 wins and 1 loss. Iran defeated South Korea, South Korea held a win over Canada and Canada beat Iran. If the tournament were to finish in a three-way tie, a winner would be declared based on point-difference between the three teams and the outcome of their final game. Heading into the final day of the tournament, 3D Canada would be crowned champions due to point-difference between the teams. However, with each team had one more game to play, and their performance could impact the tournament standings. For 3D Canada to secure the championship they would have to win their game against the National Team of Japan and Iran would have to win their game against the young and athletic Philippines Ateneo. If 3D Canada defeated Japan and Iran lost against the Philippines then South Korea would be crowned champions in a two-way tie with 3D Canada, since they held a win over 3D Canada.
In the first game of the final day of the tournament, 3D Canada earned a win against the National Team of Japan, finishing the tournament with a record of 7 wins and 1 loss.
The second game of the final day involved National Team B of Iran vs. Philippines Ateneo. Team Ateneo surprised everyone with an eight point lead at half. The score brought 3D Canada to a nervous halt, as Iran would have to beat Philippines in order to have a first place tie with 3D Canada, and crown 3D Canada as champions having a previous win over Iran. 3D Canada players were huddled in team-captain Michale Kyser’s hotel room anxiously watching a competitive fourth-quarter between Iran and Philippines. Iran held a two-point lead with less than one-minute left in the game. Philippines' defense and ball-pressure was exhausting Iran, but would not be enough as Iran was fouled hitting the go ahead free-throws to secure the game. In the final seconds, Iran stole the ball and scored a long buzzer-beater shot, two feet from half court, to put a stamp on their victory. Iran celebrated, clinching the second place / silver medal, as 3D Canada players were ecstatic and could be heard celebrating across the seventh floor of their hotel, cheering in victory, certifying their back-to-back William Jones Cup championship.
3D Canada the Returning Champs
Prior to 2017, the year when 3D Global Sports Canada won their first Williams Jones Cup tournament, the last time a Canadian team won the Jones Cup was in 1996 with the Canada National Team. In the past 10 years the tournament has been dominated by Iran, wining five of the last 10 Jones Cup. 3D Canada stepped foot in the tournament for the first time in 2017 and has made their mark on one of the most prestigious international basketball tournaments by becoming the first Canadian team to win the William Jones Cup back-to-back in 2017 and '18.
Winning a championship against high-level national competition is a difficult. Defending the championship is an undeniable accomplishment that could only be achieved through hard work and dedication. The work necessary to put together and organize a defending championship program takes utter commitment, vision, leadership, and sheer attention to detail. This is something 3D Canada general manager and executive, Teddy Tochev, along with the coaching staff can be accredited for as they did all they could to prepare a talented and gritty team of players to compete at their highest level.
Tournament Recap for 3D Canada, the Boys in Red
In their first game of the tournament, 3D Canada team, the Boys in Red, won a nail-biter against the Taipei National B team. This was the first game for 3D Canada, as defending champions, as they battled jet-lag and expectations as returning champs. The team had to quickly establish chemistry while working through the kinks, adjusting lineups and winning their next four games against Indonesia National Team, Lithuania All-Stars, Iran National Team, and Philippines Ateneo, before facing the home team rival, Taipei National Team A. This was a rivalry game as Taipei National Team A was the only team to beat 3D Canada in their 2017 championship run, 39th William Jones Cup tournament.
3D Canada revenged their only loss from the 2017 tournament by defeating Taipei National Team A. The victory was short-lived as they had to quickly prepare for the National team from South Korea, the biggest challenge of the tournament. At the time of their game, South Korea was tied for first place, with 3D Canada, as their squad bolstered all-star player Ricardo Ratcliffe. This was one of the toughest games 3D Canada played, having difficulty containing Ricardo Ratcliffe as he finished the game with 34 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Down by 2 points, 3D Canada missed a shot near the end of the fourth quarter, which let the game slip-away as South Korea secured a four-point victory. This South Korea win would not be enough to slow-down 3D Canada, as they got back on the winning track during their following-game which propelled them to complete and win the tournament with a record of 7 wins and 1 loss.
Top Tournament Performers
3D Canada's Terry Thomas won the 40th William Jones Cup MVP Award and was named to the 1st Team All-Star along with teammate Shaquille Keith.
Final Scores and Highlights:
3D Canada vs. Taipei National B Team (W 83-73 - Highlights)
3D Canada vs. Indonesia National Team (W 88-59 - Highlights)
3D Canada vs. Lithuania All-Stars (W 98-63 - Highlights)
3D Canada vs. Iran National B Team (W 77-67 - Highlights)
3D Canada vs. Philippines Ateneo (W 86-78 - Highlights)
3D Canada vs Taipei National A Team (W 81-68 - Highlights)
3D Canada vs. South Korea National Team (L 94-99 - Highlights)
3D Canada vs. Japan National Team (W 99-84 - Highlights)
Documentary: The Quest for Red Glory
3D Canada is currently working with Volere Inc. media company to release a short-documentary, “The Quest for Red Glory,” highlighting the story of the 2018 3D Canada championship team and their run in the 40th William Jones Cup tournament. The documentary will showcase 3D Canada's quest for gold, with behind-the-scenes footage of how the program prepared and defended their championship title in Taipei.
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