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USA Outlasts Argentina to Take FIBA AmeriCup Title

FIBA AmeriCup Argentina
FIBA (used with permission)

The USA Men’s Basketball troupe stormed back from 20 points down to take the FIBA AmeriCup gold medal by defeating Argentina 81-76.

Accolades are well deserved for players and staff for managing a grueling stretch of games. The Americans started their march to glory on Monday, August 28 and completed the task on Sunday September 3.

Included in that seven day stretch were five games. Some were against opponents that didn’t match the capability of the U.S. Men’s team, but all were necessary to get to the top of the podium.

Argentina proved to be the stoutest opponent of them all. Seven of their players had previous Olympic and AmeriCup experience.

When the expanse built to 20 points with 8:13 left in the third quarter a minor dust up between Facundo Campazzo and Wendell Williams soon followed and so did the American uprising. By the end of the third quarter 14 points were shaved off the lead as Reggie Hearn buried a shot from downtown off a feed from guard Larry Drew II (Sioux Falls Skyforce) to cap the period on a 8-0 burst.

Continued success was unearthed in the fourth stanza as AmeriCup MVP Jameel Warney tied the game at 58 with two of his 21 points. Xavier Munford laid it in to give the Americans their first lead with six minutes left at 63-61 as part of a 9-2 surge that Argentina could not overcome. In that pivotal final frame, the U.S. shot a blistering 71 percent (10-14) from the floor while holding Argentina to 33 percent (5-15).

Hearkening back to the task of playing five games in seven days, the coaching staff deserves an immense amount of credit for managing the physical rigors of the tournament. No American averaged more than 23 minutes a game for the tournament with 9 players getting at least 17 minutes a game. Scoring was balanced as well with six players getting between 8 and 14 points per contest.

Now the stage is set for the upcoming qualifying rounds for the FIBA World Cup to be played in China two years from now. To get an idea of how the format will play out from here, watch the accompanying video. When the qualifying windows occur during the NBA season, those under NBA contracts will not be eligible to participate in the event. However free agents such as those who are in the G League can.

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Congratulations to the U.S. Men’s Basketball team for their victory and for representing their country brilliantly.

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