Timeout as Canadians digest day of terror

Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:54pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - A National Basketball Association (NBA) pre-season game rarely holds any importance and a meeting between the Toronto Raptors and Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday held even less relevance as Canadians digested a day of terror.

The exhibition contest in Toronto went on but a National Hockey League game in Ottawa between the home-town Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs did not after a morning of gunfire in the Canadian capital left two men dead and a city on edge.

Minutes after a soldier on guard at the National War Memorial was shot and fatally wounded, a suspected gunman was shot dead in the parliament building, prompting police to lock down large sections of the downtown core as they assessed an uncertain threat.

While Canadians were left stunned and shaken by the unfolding events, coaches and players on Maccabi Haifa were respectful but unrattled.

For a team that plays under constant threat of all manner of attack from rockets to suicide bombers, it was business as usual on Wednesday for the Israeli Basketball Super League finalists despite a beefed-up security presence ordered by the NBA.

"I am aware of what happened but in Israel we see stuff like this a lot of times," Maccabi Haifa coach Rami Hadar told Reuters. "I sympathize and hope everything will be ok.

"It was not a shock but coming here it was something less expected.

"We don't feel this in daily life in Israel, it is something that can happen sometimes but we are not affected in our daily work."   Continued...