A win on the 4th: USA Basketball pulls away, tops Cuba 87-64


HAVANA — There ended up some cheers for “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to United states Basketball’s activity in Cuba on Independence Day.

And then the Individuals celebrated the holiday with a large get.

Xavier Munford scored 24 details and the U.S. defeated Cuba 87-64 on Monday night time to shut the initially round of qualifying for following year’s Basketball Entire world Cup — increasing to 31-1 all-time from the island nation.

“It’s emotional to play on the Fourth of July,” mentioned Jim Boylen, who coached the U.S. in all 3 of the two-sport home windows in the opening qualifying round. “It’s psychological to be listed here with this group of guys, with United states of america across our chests. It is a big day. Our place is 246 decades aged right now and we’re just grateful for this instant with each other.”

Munford was 10 for 12 from the floor for the Americans, who bought 13 factors from Justin Jackson, 12 from John Jenkins — all from 3-level vary — and 10 apiece from Will Davis and Langston Galloway.

“It’s July 4th. No better experience than to get a earn tonight,” Munford stated.

Jordan Bell concluded with eight rebounds and six assists for the Us citizens, whose place in the second round of qualifying was beforehand secured. They’ll get a 5-1 record into the next round, properly on their way to clinching a location in the World Cup and transferring a massive action nearer towards finding United states Basketball certified for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Yoel Cubilla led Cuba (-6) with 15 details.

The Us citizens will start out the second round of Earth Cup qualifying on Aug. 25, with the expectation that the very first matchup will be in opposition to Uruguay in Las Vegas. The U.S. will also play on Aug. 29, possibly on the highway and likely versus Colombia, however FIBA has nonetheless to affirm that as the matchup.

The two highway wins on this journey — the Us residents beat Puerto Rico on Friday — places the U.S. in a key situation to qualify for the Environment Cup. The roster was largely composed of G League players, as is normally the situation for the People in america in Environment Cup qualifying, and Boylen said this group arrived jointly rapidly.

“We arrived with each other 11 days in the past and our workforce was targeted, our fellas were great, we labored on the fundamentals, we got better just about every working day and I considered we played the suitable way,” Boylen stated. “The ball moved, we grew with each other, and we cared for every other.”

The U.S. will be grouped with Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Colombia in the next round. Also grouped from the Americas location will be Venezuela, Argentina, Panama, Canada, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

Both of these teams will deliver a few groups to the Earth Cup the most effective fourth-position team from either of these groups will also go, with the Americas location sending seven teams to the tournament that will be performed in the summer time of 2023 in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

Cuba led 16-14 after the to start with quarter Monday evening. That is, right until the Us residents scored 14 points in the very first 2:19 of the next quarter.

“We misplaced the 1st quarter, but I considered the second quarter, we responded,” Boylen mentioned.

A 3-pointer by Jackson opened the 2nd quarter, set the U.S. forward for fantastic, and the Americans were off and working. The guide was 49-32 early in the third — ending what was a 35-16 run by the U.S. — and the Us residents remained ahead the rest of the way.

“The Cuba workforce was wonderful,” Munford explained. “They came out with a great energy. They produced us get the job done for it. They experienced robust fellas. We played perfectly tonight. We executed, took treatment of the ball, ran our offense and performed Usa type of basketball.”


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