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FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers coming to St. John's

City of St. John's mayor Danny Breen (centre) is flanked by Basketball Canada CEO and President Glen Grunwald and Judy Byrne, executive director of Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association, following an announcement that St. John's will play host to two FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers this coming February. The games feature Canada's national squad taking on those from Chile and Venezuela.
City of St. John's mayor Danny Breen (centre) is flanked by Basketball Canada CEO and President Glen Grunwald and Judy Byrne, executive director of Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association, following an announcement that St. John's will play host to two FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers this coming February. The games feature Canada's national squad taking on those from Chile and Venezuela. - Joe Gibbons

Canada will take on Chile and Venezuela in second-round qualifying games at Mile One Centre next February

Basketball fans in the province will be getting even more hoops than the St. John’s Edge can provide this season as Canada Basketball will be playing host to a pair of senior men's world championship second-round qualifying games in St. John's on Feb. 21 and 24.

The two games are part of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers, leading up to the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.

Canada will play Chile Feb. 21 before taking on Venezuela on Feb. 24 to conclude the Americas qualifying process.

Through eight games, Canada sits atop Group F at 7-1 with games in Venezuela on Nov. 30 and Brazil Dec. 3 before clewing up the qualifying process in St. John’s.

“We’re very close to qualifying (for the World Cup),” said Canada Basketball president and CEO Glen Grunwald.

Venezuela was the country which knocked Canada out of qualifying for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Two-game ticket packages go on sale Saturday for as low as $24. Individual tickets are available beginning Nov. 17.

The 2019 World Cup, which will involve 32 teams, is an Olympic qualifier, sending seven teams directly to the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Canada's senior men's roster had been bolstered by NBA and college stars such as Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, Dillon Brooks, Kelly Olynyk and R.J. Barrett. However, those players won't be in St. John's in February as they will be playing with their respective pro and NCAA teams.

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