France has put an end to USA’s dream of being the winner of the FIBA world cup for the third time in a row, as they defeated the defending champions in yesterday’s game with 89-79 in favor of France.
French NBA star Rudy Gobert bagged 21 points with 16 rebounds after USA rallied 7-point deficit in the 4rth quarter. In addition, his teammate stood out with 22 points that lead them to a 10-point victory.
As far as implications go, this loss signifies many things for the US. First, it has put an end to their wins in international competitions, having had a total run of 58 wins so far, a record they have started since 2006. Also, it is also the second time the USA would go home without a medal in the past 10 FIBA games. A truly spectacular case.
For some people, the loss does not come as a surprise as they never held the team in high esteem. Obviously, the team’s lack of big stars and names made some people feel like the team was not prepared or even qualified at all.
Although, the coach sees such view as disrespectful, stating “To say ‘hey you guys didn’t have this guy or that guy’, that’s disrespectful…It doesn’t matter who is on the team…they deserve credit for that just like France deserve credit for winning. It’s not about ‘the United States didn’t have their other guys’. There is no such thing as ‘other guys’.”
France maintained an early lead, although the US tried to turn things around in their favour. But the French side kept their lead and ended the game with a 10-point gap, making them advance to the semifinals.
The good news is that USA has a shot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They also get to play Serbia to contend for the 5th to 8th position.
In other news, Australia would also head to the Semifinals where they would face Spain, while France would face Argentina. Australia, so far, has enjoyed a good run, and this year may just be the year they clinch gold, having never since progressed past the quarterfinals stage before.
Written by: Leon Osamor