Canada Basketball’s Senior Men’s National Team defeated host Italy 74-71 in overtime on Sunday in Bologna, earning a second straight win on its Europe exhibition tour.
Canada’s starters were Anthony Bennett, Melvin Ejim, Tyler Ennis, Brady Heslip and Thomas Scrubb. The full SMNT preliminary roster is available at http://basketball.ca/en/news-article/2016-mens-national-team-camp-roster
Khem Birch had a big game off the bench for Canada, leading the team with 13 points and 11 rebounds in nearly 33 minutes of playing time. Philip Scrubb chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds for Canada, which had four players grab at least seven boards and out-rebounded the Italians 51-33. Ennis had 11 points and eight assists in the winning effort while Italy’s Alessando Gentile was the game’s top scorer with 16 points.
Canada held a narrow lead for much of the game, resolutely holding off the Italians who were playing in front of their home fans.
After falling behind early, Canada finished the opening quarter on a 13-5 run to take a 19-16 lead. The SMNT continued to lead at halftime, 33-31, and were ahead 47-44 going into the final quarter. The score was tied 61-61 at the end of regulation before Canada outscored Italy 13-10 in the extra session.
The SMNT is now 3-1 on its tour, which concludes Wednesday with a game against Puerto Rico in Biella, Italy. Tip-off is 2:30 p.m. EST. Follow @CanBBall for game updates.