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Scott Edwards (CAN)

PANEVEZYS (FIBA U19 World Championship For Women) - Scott Edwards has been contemplating stepping up to the plate after being handed the coaching reigns for Canada, in the wake of head coach Rich Chambers having to attend to an urgent family matter at home.

Despite being without Chambers and losing the vast experience he offers, Edwards is adamant the players will respond positively to the situation and pull together in coming days.

"Our team has trained very hard together for this tournament for a long time and have been competing very well," he said.

"I think our athletes have all handled the situation extremely well and we are fortunate to have a quality coaching staff who have all taken up the burden.

"Rich is such a great guy, great coach and such a strong mentor for all of us, that losing him is difficult.

"But we're just trying to do the very best we can and most importantly for me is that we are able to give the players every chance they need to be as successful as they can be.

"The head coach role won't be too difficult for me," Edwards went on, "but for sure, it's going to take a different mind-set and everyone is just excited."

Canada opted to bring many younger players to Panevezys, with several members of the bronze-medal winning team from last summer's FIBA U17 World Championship for Women in attendance - something Edwards is particularly happy with.

"I agree that this group is exciting because of the young players we have and the fact we can offer them another FIBA World Championship for Women experience so quickly after Amsterdam," said the play-caller.

"They are just really talented players and we are confident they are going to be an integral part of Canada Basketball for many years."

Whilst there may be a change of face at the helm, the philosophies won't be changing under the guidance of Edwards.

He insisted: "We like to compete hard, defend tough and we will be physical.

"We also really want to get out and run a bit because we need to score some easy baskets.

"That will give us the chance to be in every game that we play meaning we will then see what happens in those fourth quarter situations."

Edwards' first game at the helm for Canada came when they tipped off their Group D campaign without bouncing a ball in anger, with Senegal having forfeited the contest as the African team is making its way to Lithuania on Thursday.


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