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Halifax to host Canada’s first qualifying game for 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup

FILE: Canada's Tristan Thompson, right, blocks a shot by Senegal's Cheikh Mbodj during the Group A FIBA Olympic Qualifying basketball match in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines, on July 6, 2016. Canada will be playing in Halifax the first qualifying round against Bahamas in November 2017 for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.
FILE: Canada's Tristan Thompson, right, blocks a shot by Senegal's Cheikh Mbodj during the Group A FIBA Olympic Qualifying basketball match in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines, on July 6, 2016. Canada will be playing in Halifax the first qualifying round against Bahamas in November 2017 for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers. AP, Bullit Marquez/The Canadian Press

Basketballs will be dribbled down the court in Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre this November as Canada is set to play its first home game of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.

Canada will face off against the Bahamas in the first qualifying game on the road to the 2019 World Cup hosted by China. Canada Basketball made the announcement Thursday alongside Sports and Entertainment Atlantic and the Scotiabank Centre, which will host the game.

Eighty teams around the world will be playing for the chance to play in the tournament in China in 2019. There are 19 spots.

Canada will be playing home and away games in the first round against the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The top three teams in the pool then move into the second round against three new opponents.

READ MORE: St. Catharines to host 2018 FIBA Americas under-18 boys basketball tournament

The top seven teams in the Americas Region will make it to China for the finals. Canada is currently 24th in the FIBA world rankings.

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Bringing the first game of the qualifiers to Halifax just adds to the sport’s history in the province, said Basketball Nova Scotia’s executive director David Wagg.

“Nova Scotia has a rich history of basketball in Canada and we look forward to welcoming some of the best players our country has to offer to Halifax,” Wagg said in the release.

According to a video tweeted by the Scotiabank Centre, the building will also be getting a new basketball court floor to be unveiled in the fall to be used for the FIBA competition.

READ MORE: Canada falls to Venezuela, fails to qualify for Rio Olympics at FIBAS

The first game in Halifax will take place Nov. 24 with the tipoff scheduled for 8 p.m. AT.

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