Canadian men fall to Dominican Republic 88-84 in OT

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The Canadian men's national team, for a brief moment, believed they had come away with a victory on Monday.

Instead, a video review led to the game being extended, and Canada eventually fell 88-84 in overtime against the Dominican Republic in the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 qualifiers.

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"Both teams played with a lot of heart," said Canada coach Gordie Herbert. "Both teams represented their countries very well. It was a very intense game."

Conor Morgan initially thought he won the game with a three-pointer from the corner at the buzzer to make it 76-75 Canada, with much of the Canadian team running off the court in celebration.

But upon a video review, the officials declared Morgan's toe was on the line, making it a 75-75 contest with overtime needed to determine a winner.

Canada was led by a game-high 26-point effort from Phil Scrubb. Aaron Best added 15 points while Kaza Kajami-Keane had 15 points and a team-high seven assists.

Scrubb shot 6 for 13 from the floor, including 4 for 9 from beyond the arc and 10 for 13 from the free-throw line.

Down by 10 in the third quarter, Scrubb went on his own 9-0 run to trim the deficit to a point before free throws from Kyle Landry and Trae Bell-Haynes gave Canada a two-point lead heading into the fourth.

Andrew Nicholson was called for an offensive foul and a technical foul and fouled out of the game midway through the third.

"We lost Nicholson with about 15 minutes to go in the game and we were down 10 at the time and the rest of the players really stood up and played outstanding," said Herbert.

Nicholson led 89-72 Canada in a win over the Dominican Republic on Friday in the opener of their FIBA AmeriCup 2021 qualifying tournament.

The FIBA AmeriCup 2021 qualifiers feature 16 teams from the Americas zone divided into four groups. Teams play each other twice, home and away, during the qualifying phase with three windows set for Feb. 21-24, 2020, November 2020 and February 2021.

Cuba and U.S. Virgin Islands are also in Canada's group.

The top three finishing teams in each group will earn a qualifying berth in the FIBA AmeriCup 2021. The FIBA AmeriCup used to be a qualifying event for the Olympics and World Cup.

Herbert is coaching Canada's team at this stage in the tournament in place of Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2020.

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