At AmeriCup, USA Basketball gets caught in a rain delay
RECIFE, Brazil (AP) — USA Basketball needed a win Sunday at the AmeriCup tournament and was well on the way to making that happen.
That is, until it rained.
The Americans’ game against Venezuela was postponed at halftime with the U.S. leading 48-21. Heavy rain caused multiple leaks inside the Geraldo Magalhães Sports Gymnasium, prompting officials to determine that the game could not be resumed safely.
It’ll resume Tuesday afternoon, FIBA said, which means the Americans will have to play on three consecutive days as they try to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Venezuela and the U.S. both have what were to be their final group-stage games scheduled for Monday.
FIBA allowed Sunday’s later Group B games at the same arena to be played as scheduled. The Dominican Republic (1-1) beat the Virgin Islands (0-2), and Argentina (2-0) downed Puerto Rico (1-1).
The Venezuela game is crucial for the U.S., which entered Group C play Sunday with a 0-1 mark after falling to Mexico in Friday’s opener. The Americans will need at least one win in their three group games, and possibly two victories, to make the quarterfinal round that starts later this week.
Mexico (2-0) likely clinched a quarterfinal berth earlier Sunday by topping Panama (0-2).
The Americans gave up the game’s first basket, then went on an 18-2 run and only kept adding to the lead. The U.S. shot 56% in the first half, compared with 33% for Venezuela, and the Americans held a 24-0 lead in points from 3-point range.
Craig Sword had 12 points in the first half for the U.S., and 11 of the 12 Americans had scored by the time play was halted.
There are four games on the slate Monday.
In Group A, Canada (1-1) plays Colombia (1-1) and Brazil (2-0) meets Uruguay (0-2). In Group C, Mexico is to meet Venezuela and Panama is set to play the U.S.
Group B is off and is scheduled to finish its round-robin play Tuesday, with the Virgin Islands facing Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic playing Argentina. Those games will follow the completion of the U.S.-Venezuela contest.
There are no games on Wednesday’s schedule. Quarterfinal games — featuring the top two teams in each group, plus the two best third place-finishing teams — start Thursday.
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