By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The USA national basketball team just gave Filipino hoops fans a glimpse of how they run the show on the FIBA World Cup stage.
After a convincing one-sided win against Puerto Rico in their first FIBA exhibition match schedule, the Americans showed they still got enough gas left in the tank after schooling the Luka Doncic-less Slovenia, 92-62, to improve to 2-0, last August 13, 2023.
It was Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Anthony Edwards who again top-scored for Team USA after dropping 15 markers while New York’s Jalen Brunson set the tone with 11 points, eight assists, and four rebounds.
There was nothing that head coach Steve Kerr could ask for from his national squad as all players on the roster were able to enter the scoring column.
Tyrese Haliburton continued his majestic playmaking for Team USA after stuffing the stat sheets with 10 points, six assists, and four rebounds while Lakers’ fan-favorite Austin Reaves chipped in 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
The Slovenian national team struggled without their main man Doncic who was out due to undisclosed reasons.
Without Dallas Mavericks’ franchise player, Slovenia failed to start the game strong like they usually did when Doncic starts at the point.
Slovenia’s shooters tried to fill in the void and stepped up midway through the second quarter and at the end of the third frame when they were able to establish mini-offensive runs to trim USA’s lead.
However, Team USA’s high-octane scoring prevented Slovenia’s courageous comeback attempt as Edwards, Brandon Ingram, Mikal Bridges, and Cam Johnson provided the much-needed offensive answers from the Americans.