Fresh from an improbable comeback in the 2016 NBA Finals, Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers is set to re-join Canada roster in their bid to salvage the lone Olympic berth staked in the Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament this coming July 5-10.
Thompson, 25 , was not included in the earlier roster announced by Canada but gathered himself right after savoring his first NBA championship, and decided to don a Canada jersey in the qualifiers.
The Ontario-Native played a major part in the playoff run en route to the first franchise title of Cleveland in the NBA alongside main gunners LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, averaging 6.7 points and 9 rebounds.
Thompson’s rejoining Canada’s national team was first reported by Chris Haynes of the cleveland.com and later on confirmed by Hoops Hype Canada.
In fact, Thompson is set to report on Friday practice alongside national roster teammates, Cory Joseph of Toronto Raptors and NBA veteran Joel Anthony.
Canada will be taking on Senegal and Turkey in the Group A of the Manila OQT.
Thompson’s addition to the roster bolstered Canada’s chances, even without Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray, Kelly Olynyk among other NBA players.
The 2011 4th overall draft pick, who hasn’t missed an NBA game since his rookie year, last played for Canada in the 2013 FIBA Americas. – By John Bryan Ulanday