A few days ago, the small beautiful country of New Zealand which is best known for their breathtaking landscape and having been the location for the filming of the Lord of the Rings movies and the tiny country that has only 4,4 million inhabitants to boast hasn´t been known for exporting great basketball players except for guys like Steven Adams, Sean Marks and Aaron Baynes to the NBA had the big mighty Les Bleues France at the brink of a loss. This summer the French national team boasts four current NBA players like Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum, but also ex NBA players like Nando De Colo and Mickael Gelabale, but France rallied back and showed their true colors unleashing a lethal 22-2 run in the fourth to escape with a hard fought 66-59 win over the disappointed New Zealand nation. This summer New Zealand has a very hungry group of players that mostly play in the NBL league at home, but also have a few players abroad like Tai Jack Webster who played against the top young Kids in the states at Nebraska (NCAA) or Isaac Fotu who plays for CAI Zaragoza (Spain-Liga Endesa) or Thomas Abercrombie who played at Pinar Karsiyaka SK Izmir (Turkey-BSL) last season. Corey Webster led New Zealand with 21 points and had the hot hand even if he only shot 7/22. He is definitely a guy that loves to say inside his mind “bombs away” when he is parked behind the three point line. Canada was fortunate that France was able to come back and win the nail bitter, because if they hadn´t Philip Scrubb and co would have had a date with France already in the semi-finals instead of with New Zealand.
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.
Last summer Mr Canada Philip Scrubb Scrubb who is inofficially the greatest Canadian University basketball player of all time won a Gold medal at the Marchand Cup in San Juan Puerto Rico and a Bronze at the FIBA Americas in Mexico where combined he shot a ridiculous 49% from the parking lot and his winning didn´t stop there as he also was NBA Summer League champion in Orlando and as a professional rookie with the Fraport Skyliners won the Fiba Europe cup a few months ago. That including his 8 titles with Carleton(CIS) is a lot of hardware and medals, but if you were to ask the Canadian national player if he might trade in some of those titles for a chance to play with the best at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, Brazil, it would definitely be interesting to know what his answer would be. For Scrubb, he may just get that chance to mingle with the best athletes in the world in August in Rio, if he and team Canada can qualify in a Fiba tournament in Manilla.