Considered by many as the most telling game in Group H of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, this matchup between Canada and France certainly is one that shouldn’t be missed by fans on the first day of the tournament. Will Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and company score a mild upset? Or will France show why they’re the favorite to top the said group?

Catch this game live on Friday, August 25, at 9:30 PM, Manila time

Canada (0-0)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • SG: RJ Barrett
  • SF: Melvin Ejim
  • PF: Kyle Alexander
  • C: Dwight Powell

Canada is without NBA champion and Denver Nuggets star point guard Jamal Murray in Jakarta, but their squad is still LOADED. Their roster is brimming with NBA talent. Led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Canadians are out to prove they’re a serious medal contender not just on paper but on the court as well. 

Remember, it was just last week when Canada defeated World No. 1 Spain in an exhibition in Granada via overtime, 85-80. Gilgeous-Alexander led the Canadians in that game with 22 points, while RJ Barrett chipped in 18 points. The frontcourt duo of Kelly Olynyk and Dwight Powell isn’t sexy by any standards, but it got the job done versus Spain, scoring 11 and 12 points, respectively, while combining for 18 rebounds. Canada also has Purdue Boilermakers and reigning National College Player of the Year Zach Edey.

France (0-0)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Nando de Colo 
  • SG: Elie Okobo
  • SF: Evan Fournier
  • PF: Nicolas Batum
  • C: Rudy Gobert

France are a force to reckon with, and that’s an understatement. Ranked fifth in the world, Les Bleus had a podium finish in both the 2019 FIBA World Cup (third) and in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (second). In the 2022 FIBA Eurobasket, France also finished as a runner-up. The composition of France’s roster in the 2023 FIBA World Cup is quite a sight even though Victor Wembanyama isn’t a part of the roster. 

It is anchored by Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert. Other notable pieces on the roster are Evan Fournier of the New York Knicks and Nicolas Batum. In France’ final tuneup game before flying to Indonesia, Fournier went off for 29 points in a 78-74 loss to Australia. Former EuroLeague Most Valuable Player Nando de Colo can also be a headache on the floor even at age 36. 


Spread: France (-2) cover the spread.

Over/Under: The total (167.5) hits the Under.