Philip Scrubb has played against many noteworthy players in his basketball career and got a sweet taste in the summer of 2015 when he took part at the Marchand Cup in San Juan (Puerto Rico) -15 (Gold) playing 4 games averaging 10.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 46.7%, FT-3(85.7%)
and at the FIBA Americas in Mexico -15 (Bronze) playing 10 games averaging 7.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 42.4%, 3PT: 48.0%, FT: 85.7%. There he played against the best players that the America´s have to offer. Some of these intense challenges that he had to take on was battling NBA and former NBA players like Jose Barea, Luis Scola, Andreas Nocioni or Gustavo Ayon and held his own. Having to battle teammates like Cory Joseph, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson this summer or guys like Andrew Wiggins, Robert Sacre and Kelly Olynyk last summer in practice most likely made him better as a player without him really noticing. However the biggest battle that he had to conquer with team Canada was to beat France and NBA legend in the making Tony Parker. If Scrubb was in awe of the four time NBA champion and six time NBA allstar was unknown since it isn´t always easy to get underneath the game face of the Canadian. Of course it was a huge deal to face an icon like Parker, but Scrubb knew that with the unbelievable deep roster and talent of the Les Bleues, he had to focus on every player and play team basketball if they had any chance to win. Team Canada had the chance to qualify for the upcoming 2016 Olympic games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with a victory and Scrubb had to block out too much respect for Parker and co and just play their game knowing that they could produce some new Canadian basketball history with a victory.
Both teams had a combined number of eight NBA players in the starting lineup including NBA legend in the making Tony Parker as well as Nicolas Bautm or Boris Diaw while Canada had guys like Cory Joseph, Anthony Bennett and Tristan Thompson. The only two current non NBA players were ex San Antonio Spurs guard Nando de Colo of 2016 Euroleague champion CSKA Moscow and Giessen 46er Thomas Scrubb. Somewhere Giessen 46er head coach Denis Wucherer must have had a smile on his face while Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert must have been biting himself in the you know what why he couldn´t get the other half of the Scrubb brothers in Frankfurt to compliment Philip Scrubb. Both teams got their offensives running in a hurry with Thomas Scrubb nailing a trey and jamming home a dunk and as usual Cory Joseph being unstoppable in the paint area while France relied on their guard inside play of Tony Parker. Thomas Scrubb brother Philip checked in at the 5:17 minute mark of the first quarter with Canada leading 13-11. Philip Scrubb isn´t the only unselfish player in the Scrubb family, but brother Thomas also has that passing gene that also has been a trait he learned at Carleton from head coach Dave Smart and found Melvin Ejim for the trey and 16-13 Canada advantage. Both teams continued to execute well on offense, but Canada had massive problems combating the furious inside out game of France that really had the ball movement flourishing and getting shots from anywhere. De Colo had some instant offense at the end of the first quarter getting inside three times for easy buckets as France led 30-23. Canada was leading 30-25 and was shooting out the lights with 60% from the field and 40% from outside while Canada was shooting even better at 65% from the field and 60% from outside. Canada had the 7-5 rebound edge, but four turnovers while France had three turnovers. Nando de Colo and Cory Joseph were the two enforcers with 11 and 10 points.
In the second quarter Philip Scrubb led the comeback charge hitting his first jumper cutting the France lead to 30-27. Even though both teams have unending talent and unlimited offensive capabilities the incredible shooting accuracy couldn´t go on forever as both teams started to put up the one or the other brick in the first minutes of the second quarter diminishing the offensive flow a bit of the first quarter. Canadian Tyler Ennis finally ended the miserable shooting drought of both teams making a lay up to cut the France lead to 32-29. It seemed almost like both teams had caught the nervous bug as they started to think more closely about what a win could actually mean instead of blocking that all out and just playing like they did in the first quarter scoring at ease. Then all of a sudden with the second quarter winding down, both teams found their shooting touch again and Canada slipped out of a 5-0 run with buckets from Khem Birch and Ejim to tie the score at 34-34. After some turnovers by Tony Parker, he ended the second quarter making a perfect pass to Boris Diaw who sunk the trey giving France the 39-36 lead at halftime. De Colo continued to be the spark plug for France with 13 points on 6/7 shooting while Diaw had nine points. Cory Joseph continued to be the offensive force for Canada with 12 points while athletic high flyer Melvin Ejim was a spark plug off the bench with nine points. Both teams buckled down on defense as the shooting percentages dipped as France was shooting 50% from the field and 25% from the three point line while Canada was shooting 47% from the field and 36% from the three point line. Canada continued to control the boards 19-14, but had 10 turnovers while France had nine turnovers. France was a thorn in Canada´s side with 22 points in the paint while Canada had a strong 13 points from their bench. Philip Scrubb had two points on 1/3 shooting an offensive rebound in 11.45 minutes while brother Thomas had five points on 2/5 shooting, three rebounds, two assists and a block.
In the third quarter, France didn´t waste any time getting going on offense going on a 9-2 run sparked by five points from Tony Parker including a trey as France led 48-38. Nando De Colo followed with a bucket in the lane as France continued to do what it wanted in the paint area. However after a Canada time out, they came back on a 5-0 run getting big baskets from Ennis and Joseph to cut the France lead to 48-43. De Colo and Parker continued to be a two man wrecking crew as De Colo just couldn´t be stopped inside sneaking in for a bucket as Parker found him for the 50-43 lead. Canada just wouldn´t shut down despite the constant France pressure escaping out on a 4-0 run as Heslip scored inside and Thompson made a thunderous dunk to cut the France lead to 50-47. France continued to battle well on the offensive glass securing big offensive rebounds when they need them and Batum made a put back and then connected on a trey for the 56-49 advantage. Ejim made a big bucket stopping the France pressure cutting the lead to 56-51 after three quarters. Philip Scrubb had the same stats as at halftime, but now having played 14:57 minutes while brother Thomas also had the same having played 16.42 minutes. France was shooting 47% from the field and 24% from the parking lot while Canada was shooting 47% from the field and 36% from the parking lot. Canada continued to have the rebounding edge at 28-22, but had 16 turnovers while France had 13 turnovers. Parker and De Colo had combined 29 points while Canada had 16 points from the ever so reliable Joseph and 13 from Ejim.
In the fourth quarter, France point guard Antoine Diot got France off on the right foot with a trey to lift their lead to 59-51. However Canada showed their true colors and fought until the end and just wouldn´t give up as Philip Scrubb hooked up with Ejim with an alley-oop dunk and the ex medi Bayreuth player then hit a trey to cut the France advantage to 62-56. Ejim didn´t need the NBA Summer league to do some promotion for his basketball abilities as this Fiba Olympic qualifying tournament did wonders for his resume as he was a real force down the stretch keeping Canada in the game. However one thing that Canada didn´t have was Tony Parker and he really took off mid way through the fourth quarter with five points upping the France lead to 67-59. Canada always seemed to have an answer on offense as Anthony Bennett nailed a three pointer and Ennis scored inside to cut the France lead to 67-64, but they just couldn´t contain Tony Parker who showed why he belongs to the best players in the world as he scored six unanswered points to keep Canada at bay as France led 73-66 with 2.15 to play. France continued to keep up the pressure going on a 6-0 run with back to back free throws from Parker and De Colo to decide the game as they led 79-66. Tony Parker made two more free throws to end his scoring ay at 26 points and Cory Joseph scored the last bucket of the game as France held on showing their nerves of steel in the fourth quarter winning 83-74 to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. In the end, it was Parker and De Colo who combined for 48 points that just did Canada in. Canada was led by Cory Joseph who was his usual on fire self with 20 points and six rebounds and Melvin Ejim added 19 points. Philip Scrubb played 22.35 minutes and didn´t have a great shooting night adding two points on 1/5 shooting, but showed his playmaking qualities with four assists and two rebounds. Brother Thomas played 17.58 minutes and had five points on 2/7 shooting, three rebounds and two assists. In this Olympic qualifying tournament, Philip Scrubb didn´t have a real main scoring role on the team simply because it was filled with NBA scorers that took most of the responsibility. Scrubb played 21 minutes in the four games averaging 4,3ppg, 2,8rpg and 2,3apg. He also didn´t have a very good shooting tournament going 5/21 from the field. France finished the game shooting 49% from the field and 33% from outside while Team Canada shot 50% from the field and 36% from outside. Canada won the rebound battle 36-25, but coughed up the ball 21 times while France had five possessions more. “It was a tough game, they made more shots than us down the stretch. I have played against a lot of good players and Tony Parker is among the best I have played against”, warned Philip Scrubb. The bad news for Philip Scrubb is that he won´t be playing at the 2016 Olympics, but the good news is that Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert will have his most likely favorite player for this season ready for the start of training camp in August. In the meantime, Scrubb can tell some intense stories about his battles with parker at home in Canada in the next weeks between work out sessions.