Team USA books FIBA World Cup second-round ticket after trouncing Greece

Team USA just grabbed its second-straight FIBA World Cup win after dismantling Greece (FIBA)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The mighty USA basketball team showed they have enough talent and depth to clinch the FIBA World Cup championship title after demolishing the talented Greece squad, 109-81, to advance to the second round of the tournament last August 28, 2023, held at the Mall of Asia Arena.

USA just outplayed Greece in the next three quarters, surviving a slow opening frame after struggling to defend the opposing squad’s efficient pick-and-roll game.

It was the second unit of the Americans who helped them regain the much-needed momentum in the second quarter as the lineup of Austin Reaves, Paolo Banchero, Tyrese Haliburton, Josh Hart, and Cam Johnson ignited a 27-18 burst.

After a cold start from Jalen Brunson and Anthony Edwards, the bench unit made it up and ran the show in the second period kicked off by Hart’s tenacity.

Hart, the current energy player of the New York Knicks, provided the jolt of electricity that team USA needed to flip the switch after a series of hustle plays which led to several fast break points.

Haliburton then took control of the pace as his stellar court vision fed Reaves and Banchero when they got to their sweet spots.

Despite Greece’s fine play in the shaded lane, USA proved they had plenty of firepower as Edwards finally broke his slump at the start of the third quarter after scoring five straight points.

All hell broke loose midway through the third frame as Reaves and the rest of the guys put on a show in front of the thousands of Filipino fans who came to watch the team USA brand of hoops.

During the post-game interview, team USA’s head coach Steve Kerr applauded his squad’s effort despite going down early in the first quarter.

Kerr, a multiple NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors as a chief tactician, laid out his cards against Greece as he countered their paint-oriented offense with his signature small ball lineup.

By starting Banchero at the center position, team USA suddenly flipped the switch in the second quarter and started to take command of the tempo until the final buzzer.

Reaves was named as the Best Player of the Game after dropping 15 points, six assists, five rebounds, and two steals while Brunson concluded the night with a perfect 5/5 shooting from the field to end up with 13 markers.

Team USA will look to make it three wins in a row tomorrow as they will be setting up a clash with former TNT Tropang Giga import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jordan at 4:40 PM at the Mall of Asia Arena.