Playing back to back games is nothing new for Philip Scrubb as he got a hang of that last season playing NBA Summer league for the Toronto Raptors so having only 24 hours to digest the victory against Turkey before suiting up against Senegal was no sweat for the Canadian native. He surely could of found something to do to pass the time as there is enough to do in a city like Manilla that boasts 1,7 million people like reading up on the history of the city that was founded in 1571 or just daze out of his high rise hotel and enjoy all the lights that make the city seem like a little New York. He most likely just relaxed and got mentally prepared for the next game against African nation Senegal and possibly watching some last minute film on Clevin Hannah of Endesa league team Bilbao who played Eurocup against German teams Bonn and Oldenburg last season.
Canada´s first victory against Turkey was no piece of cake as neither was this one as they had even more difficulty of disposing their opponent as it was a real tough grind out nail bitter for 40 minutes 58-55 against Senegal. Canada had their head slightly ahead, but only slightly as the contest seemed like a neck to neck horse race as the ending couldn´t have been scripted any better than the legendary 1996 Kentucky derby where Grindstone just nipped Cavonnier. Once again Canada had to put up with the overwhelming length and size of Senegal as they boasted some real big men, but once again Canada were able to sparkle with their athleticism and NBA good luck charms. The Scrubb brothers weren´t as offensively successful as against Turkey, but also weren´t as involved either as they only combined for four points.
After 10 minutes of play, it seemed like the game could become a healthy scoring game as Canada had the slight lead 22-20, but after that it turned into a very ugly grind out game as both teams enforced their defense which led to more bricks being thrown as the only thing missing was some kind of cement foundation being built on the floor. Canada got massive support from their NBA stars Anthony Bennett and Cory Joseph who got active quickly combining for 10 points. The only bright spot for Senegal was Real Madrid 206cm forward Maurice Ndour who lite up the score board with eight points. Canada wasn´t coming terms to the physicality of Senegal on the glass as they had the 15-10 rebound edge. Both teams were shooting ok, but it would only go downhill from this point on. Philip Scrubb played the last 3.10 minutes and registered two assists and a rebound while being that team player and not worrying about taking unneeded shots. His brother Thomas Scrubb nailed a bucket.
In the second quarter, the ugliness started on the court as Canada could only muster 11 points, but stepped up their defense keeping Senegal at only eight points and had the 33-28 advantage at the break. Canada was able to escape out on a 7-0 run near the end of the second quarter to secure their biggest lead of the game. Philip Scrubb played 5.24 minutes, but missed a three pointer and coughed up the ball once. Milwaukee Buck Tyler Ennis was a spark plug in the run as Canada did a good job getting to the hole. Canada was shooting a dismal 18% from the parking lot, but had the rebound edge at 29-26. Canada did a better job clamping down on Maurice Ndour limiting him to two points.
In the third quarter, less scoring stayed on the menu as both teams scored 13 points a piece and Canada was able to keep the 47-42 lead. Canada was aided by their fortitude of NBA players as 2016 NBA champion Tristan Thompson stepped it up and was their glue guy under the boards being very aggressive crashing the offensive glass as his five offensive rebounds and nine overall rebounds kept Senegal pondering if the American had added some extra beast from Lebron´s body frame the last months. Philip Scrubb played 4.37 minutes in the second quarter, but only dropped free throws. He continued to be no factor in the scoring department, but didn´t have to be when the NBA connection were doing the damage. Canada continued to be cold from downtown at 17% and thanks to their consistent defense kept them in the lead. Senegal continued to battle on the boards and despite a hungry Thompson, had the slight edge on the boards at 39-37.
In the fourth quarter, the game continued to be on the cutting edge, but like against Turkey, the opponent was unable to get over the hump and get the lead, even if they got very close in the last minutes. Maleye N´Doye of Paris made some big buckets and cut the Canada advantage to 51-50. From there on it was a nail bitter that was waiting for a fairy tale ending for Senegal, but instead was tarnished by routine NBA class as Canada was able to secure the win thanks to their overwhelming superb better one on one abilities that Senegal couldn´t combat. It was a one possession game, but Canada simply continued to execute from the free throw line while Senegal fought, but ran out of time. Toronto Raptor Cory Joseph displayed nerves of steel and made his free throws. He did miss one near the end, giving Senegal one more time to send the game into OT with three seconds remaining, but Hannah missed giving the win to Canada as they went to 2-0 in the 2016 Fiba Olympic Qualifying. Canada shot a miserable 33% from the field and unsatisfactory 12% from outside. Senegal shot better at 28% from the field and 33% from outside. Senegal won the rebounding duel 53-46. Cory Joseph had 13 points, Tyler Ennis had 12 points and ex medi Bayreuth player Melvin Ejim chipped in with 11 points. “I think or defense was really good all game. We forced them to take tough shots. But I think we have to have a better flow on offence and get some easy baskets”, stressed Philip Scrubb. Senegal was led by Maurice Ndour with 16 while Clevin Hannah had 13 points. Both Scrubb brothers finished with two points a piece and combined on 1/8 shooting as Philip Scrubb was 0/5 from the field. Even if they had no substantial offensive input, the most important thing was the win and when you have the NBA power that Canada has then you can just sit back and watch and be happy that pressure to perform isn´t on your shoulders. Team Canada now has 72 hours rest until their semi-final game on Saturday. If they can win that game, they most likely will meet France in the final for the ticket to the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, Brazil. Philip Scrubb now has enough time to get to know a little of Manilla by day and by night look down at the lights and skyline of the massive city and dream ahead for a possible meeting with France and Tony Parker. One thing is for sure, if Canada does meet France in the final, assistant coach and mentor David Smart who taught Philip Scrubb the basics at Carleton for five years will unearth the most vital Tony Parker videos.