GUADALAJARA, Mexico–After finding themselves trailing by as many as 15 points Canada pulled off an incredible victory Wednesday morning as they defeated Argentina 83-79 in overtime. It was first game of the 2011 Pan-American Games for the Men’s team and sets their record at 1-0.
Phil Scrubb (Richmond, BC), the youngest player on the court at just 18 years old, led all scorers with 35 points while shooting an efficient 8 of 15 from three-point territory.
“We made plays when it mattered and made some important foul shots in the overtime,” said head coach Dave Smart.
“Phil made some plays in crucial moments and played very well after the first four minutes but we dominated them on the boards, we outrebounded them 46-28 and that’s really what did it. They probably outplayed is on every other facet but we did a lot of the hard work to keep ourselves in the game.”
Scrubb tied the game at 70 after connecting on a three-pointer in the final seconds and in the overtime period he continued to dominate on the offensive end. Scrubb scored seven consecutive points to open the final frame, giving Canada their first lead of the game. In the closing minutes, Canada upheld their intensity and refused to relinquish the lead, finishing the game with strong efforts on both sides of the ball.
Early turnovers hurt Canada to start the game, but as the quarter wore on Canada calmed their nerves and began to play with more control. Warren Ward (Ottawa, ON) led the team with four points in the first quarter.
Scrubb provided a great start to the second frame as he led Canada on an 8-0 run behind two three-pointers and a pair of foul shots. Argentina continued to attack the basket aggressively, but much improved defence for Canada limited Argentina’s effectiveness. The teams entered halftime with Canada trailing 34-39.
Canada opened the second half with the first basket, a jumper by Nathan Yu (Prince George, BC). Tyson Hinz (Ottawa, ON) then added two baskets of his own and helped spark a run for Canada in which they took control of the glass. The team attacked the boards, corralling rebounds and limiting Argentina’s ability to get inside the paint and score chance points.
In the fourth quarter, Scrubb continued his impressive offensive performance. Canada began the frame with three consecutive three-pointers, two from Scrubb and one from Hinz.
Hinz finished with 13 points, and Ward netted six points to go along with his 10 rebounds.
Canada’s next game will be against Mexico tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. ET).