CORY Joseph went all out, not just to try and lead Canada to the Rio Olympics, but also to show one of his mentors in Tony Parker how much he's improved.
Turns out, the student still has much to learn.
Joseph had 20 points for Canada in the finals of the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila but his efforts went to waste after they lost to the Parker-led France, 83-74, on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
What's worse for Joseph, Parker exploded for France in the fourth quarter, leading the Les Bleus with 26 points in the victory over his former teammate with the San Antonio Spurs.
Now with the Toronto Raptors, Joseph admitted he was determined to win the game against Parker.
“He is one of my mentors. I learned a lot from him. I was very excited for the game, preparing for it,” said Joseph.
The Canadian guard was once a backup for Parker in his days with the Spurs from 2011 to 2015, winning the 2014 title before moving to the Raptors. Joseph said he was eager to get some sort of revenge in the final match.
“I have to sit on the bench and watch him for a long time. That guy got me excited playing against him, try to get a little bit of revenge and try to use the things he taught me. I knew he is going to know my tendencies just like I’m going to know his. I just tried to play hard,” said Joseph.
The match-up got a little intense late in the game when the two had an exchange of words with the score already settled.
Nevertheless, Parker only has good things to say about his former teammate, saying that it was unfortunate someone has to lose the game.
“It was great to play against him. He was my backup for a lot of years. He is a very good friend,” Parker said. “He is playing great for Canada. He had a great tournament. But only one team can go (to Rio). I’m happy that it was us.”