First real test awaits Team USA in Fiba World Cup second round | Inquirer Sports

First real test awaits Team USA in Fiba World Cup second round

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 09:22 PM August 30, 2023

Mikal Bridges Team USA Fiba World Cup

Team USA’s Mikal Bridges celebrates after making a 3-pointer against Jordan in the Fiba World Cup. -FIBA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—After unsurprisingly dusting off its competition in the group phase, Team USA expects to face stiffer challenge in the second round of the Fiba World Cup.

The Americans on Tuesday played like the favorites that they are and were just on a much different level than the Jordanians, on their way to a 110-62 victory at Mall of Asia Arena.


The wire-to-wire win capped a sweep of Group C, which the United States dominated by an average winning margin of 34, following blowouts over New Zealand and Greece.


But it gets much tougher from here with European power Lithuania and up-and-comer Montenegro waiting in the second round.

“We gotta lock in and go to battle. We know it’s not gonna be easy, we know they’re both good teams so we gotta go to battle and put our best foot forward,” said guard Austin Reaves, who’s emerged as one of the top players for Team USA.

Like the US, Lithuania, which is anchored by New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas, also stamped its class in Group D.

Montenegro finished second to Lithuania in the group but is not to be overlooked especially with Chicago Bulls star center Nikola Vucevic at its disposal.

Jaren Jackson Jr. Team USA Fiba World Cup

Team USA’s Jaren Jackson Jr. dunks against Jordan in the Fiba World Cup. -FIBA PHOTO

“That’s gonna be tough games. They’re talented teams and they’ve been playing together and we just got to be ready for them,” said US center Jaren Jackson Jr., the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, who will be tested against Valanciunas and Vucevic.

Team USA played its best game against Jordan where it dominated right from the get-go—something it failed to do in its first two games.


In the second round, only the top team in each group will advance to the knockout quarterfinals.

A confident Anthony Edwards, who fired 22 points including a breakaway windmill dunk in the third quarter, is not a bit worried.

“I think we’re going to win,” said Edwards. “We’re unbeaten and I think we got a great chance of winning. We got a great coaching staff, we got great players and our confidence is at an all-time high, so we’re not really worried about those guys.”

Mikal Bridges, who celebrated his 27th birthday on Tuesday, is approaching the second round cautiously wary of what could happen if they make the mistake of getting too ahead of themselves.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“It’s gonna be a tough fight. They’re really good teams, really well-coached. so we just gotta prepare for them and be ready,” said the Brooklyn Nets ace, who scored nine points as part of the starting unit that set the tone.

TAGS: Fiba World Cup, Team USA

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.