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Syracuse Basketball: Former Orange Tyler Ennis Takes First Step Toward Rio Olympics

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Ennis is trying to send Canada basketball to Brazil.

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While other former Syracuse Orange players are fighting for attention in the summer league or riding banana boats, Tyler Ennis is trying to get his country's team in to the 2016 Olympic games.

Ennis, the former Orange point guard and current member of the Milwaukee Bucks, is also the starting point guard for the Canadian national team. Some teams (like Carmelo Anthony's USA squad) have already punched their tickets to Brazil, but others have to earn their place in the Games. Team Canada is one of the teams playing in the Philippines trying to do just that, and on Tuesday took its first step by defeating Turkey, 77-69.

Ennis was quiet from the field, shooting just 1-for-4 for six points. But he had a decent all-around game with three rebounds and a pair of assists in 16 minutes of play for the Canadians. Cory Joseph of the Toronto Raptors led the way with 21 points, while the Cleveland Cavaliers' Tristan Thompson put up 10 points and six rebounds. Canada's next game is tomorrow against Senegal.

Also in the Philippines is Syracuse native Andray Blatche. Blatche is playing for the hometown Philippines, who lost to France this morning. Blatche led the way for his team with 21 points and eight rebounds. The Philippines plays New Zealand tomorrow morning.

The qualifier in Manila is one of three being played across the world, with the others in Serbia and Italy. The winner of each qualifier earns a bid to Rio. Canada earned a spot in this qualifier by finishing in the top four of the FIBA Americas Championship in 2015.