Day 5 of FIBA AmeriCup 2017 brought plenty of action through Group B and Group C as the hunt to find the best nation in the Americas continued. In Group B, the phase game to a close through Game 3, while in Group C there is still a round to play on Day 6. Three teams have now taken their place in Saturday’s semi-final and await the winner of Group C.
FIBA AmeriCup 2017 final four teams will be made up of the three first placed group winners (Mexico and tournament hosts Argentina are in place) and the best second placed team (U.S. Virgin Islands).
The U.S. Virgin Islands reach the final four despite being thumped 58-104 at the hands of tournament hosts Argentina. However, the Argentines have been in hot form in Bahia Blanca and topped Group B with an unbeaten 3-0 record. They will play Mexico in the semi-final as one of the teams will lose their 100% record. As the score suggests, this game was rarely in doubt as Argentina played some excellent basketball. The hosts were 48-27 in front through halftime and run away with the game in the second half thanks to 56 points.
Reigning FIBA AmeriCup champs Venezuela are ending their title defence after the group stage, losing 66-75 to a Canadian team that will also head home after today. The Canadians led 29-27 through the long break, but Venezuela showed fight to tie the game 58-58 through thirty minutes. In the fourth act, Canada drained 27 points to secure the win. Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 22 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds in the victory.
USA may have dominated global basketball in the last decade, but has found the going tougher in the AmeriCup. Indeed, the team has not won this tournament since 2007, even if the USA is the winningest nation overall with 6 titles. In Argentina, the US team looks a threat once more and moved to 2-0 in Group C with a 66-74 win over Uruguay. A win tomorrow, or other favourable results will mean the USA moves to the final four. A close 34-32 first half gave way to a more dominant US performance in the second, allowing the favourites to cruise to victory.
Panama is heading home after it lost 64-86 to the Dominican Republic to remain without a victory this week. The Dominicans used a tight defensive third act to take the lead for good, limiting Panama to just six points during the frame.
Group C will be wrapped tomorrow, with Uruguay and Dominican Republic aiming to thwart USA’s progress to the final four.