Eight teams continued with group-stage action in the FIBA Americup 2017 on Day 4. Team USA made their debut in Group C and was, as expected, able to come away victorious. Other games brought a bit more excitement and could not be settled within regulation. Excellent basketball
USA vs. Panama, 97-56
The Americans were dominant from start to finish and blew passed Panama from the opening whistle. Jeff Van Gundy christened his return international basketball with the impressive win. The team was assembled from the NBA’s G-League. Marshall Plumlee dominated in the paint for USA nine points and 12 boards.
Panama was not out completely and even challenged the lead thanks to some good plays by Gary Forbes, who finished the game with 19 points and three rebounds. But the defensive pressure by the United States was too much for the Panamanian squad to overcome and US was able to expand on their lead further and eventually win.
Dominican Republic vs. Uruguay, 57-66
Another team that made its debut in the FIBA Americup on Day 4 was Uruguay. They too came away with a notch in their win column for the group stage. A well-rounded performance by Jayson Granger spearheaded Uruguay’s charge to victory. He scored 23 points, grabbed five rebounds, handed out eight assists, and came away with three steals. He was all over the court and his presence was felt throughout the game.
This was less of a roll through compared to the US-Panama game. Both Uruguay and the Dominican Republic mounted huge runs in each of the quarters in the first half, with momentum swinging left and right. Things stabilized in the second half, with Uruguay claiming the decisive advantage via control of the game.
Venezuela vs. Virgin Islands, 86-84
This was the closest game of the day with Venezuela narrowly edging out the Virgin Islands. The game was tight and boiled down to the dying seconds of regulation. Venezuela’s John Cox drilled a long-range jumper to put Venezuela ahead. He was also the team’s top scorer with 23 points. The Virgin Islands had a chance to force overtime, with John Cox capping off his 24-point night with a clutch shot, but upon review by the officials his shot was released after the buzzer and was nullified, allowing Venezuela to squeak through with the win.
Canada vs. Argentina, 86-92
Both teams came to play, and play hard they did. So closely matched were both teams, that an overtime period was needed to secure the outcome. This was a tough loss for Canada which is in trouble in Group B as the only team failing to record a victory.
The Canadians looked rattled as Argentina came from behind to force overtime. Argentina gutted out the win passed the adversity of losing veteran Luis Scola due to injury. In the end, Facundo Campazzo (photo) stepped up his game in the extra period and dominated on offense. He scored nine of his team-high 23 points in overtime to secure the win for Argentina. Brady Heslip was a key performer for Canada with 24 points of his own.