Mexico shocks USA Basketball in World Cup subordinate round

June 29, 2018 - Basketballs

MEXICO CITY — Jeff Van Gundy warned a Americans that they were in for a critical challenge.

To his chagrin, he was right – and a U.S. was handed a singular loss.

Francisco Cruz scored 24 points, Mexico non-stop with an 18-0 run and went on to kick a United States 78-70 on Thursday night in a subordinate diversion for subsequent year’s FIBA World Cup.

According to USA Basketball, it was usually a second detriment by a U.S. in 30 games opposite Mexico – with a other better entrance in a 2011 Pan Am Games.

Orlando Mendez-Valdez combined 20 points for Mexico, that hold a U.S. scoreless for a initial 5:51 and forced a Americans into blank their initial 10 shots from a floor.

Marcus Thornton scored 14 points for a U.S., that is regulating a register stoical essentially of G League players for a subordinate rounds. Xavier Munford combined 11 points while David Stockton and Reggie Hearn any had 10 for a Americans.

The U.S. mislaid for a initial time in 10 contests underneath Van Gundy, who is coaching this group that’s tasked with removing a group of NBA stars that will be coached by Gregg Popovich to a World Cup.

“We can’t blink how tough it is going to be to play on a road, during altitude, and opposite a group unfortunate to validate for a FIBA World Cup,” Van Gundy pronounced heading adult to a game. “We have to make certain we compare that form of power and passion that we know they’ll bring.”

By a time a U.S. found a stride, it was already in low trouble. Mexico led 31-10 after a initial quarter, afterwards staved off a large second-half convene try by a U.S.

Trey McKinney-Jones’ basket late in a third entertain capped a 15-1 run and put a U.S. within 53-51. Thornton done a span of 3-pointers about a notation detached in that burst, and Hearn’s 3-pointer early in a fourth cut Mexico’s lead to 56-54.

But a U.S. never got a lead.

The Americans (4-1) – who have already ensured a mark in a second turn of subordinate that starts in Sep – finish a first-round array of games Sunday when they go to Havana to face Cuba (0-5). It’ll be a initial time a U.S. men’s inhabitant group has played in Havana given a 1991 Pan American Games. Mexico (3-2) also wraps adult a initial turn on Sunday, when it plays during Puerto Rico (3-2).

David Huertas had 18 points, Angel Rodriguez and JJ Barea any had 15 and Puerto Rico rallied in a fourth entertain in another subordinate diversion Thursday to tip Cuba 84-80.

Under FIBA’s new subordinate format, teams are personification home-and-home games opposite teams in their segment to acquire places in a World Cup in China, that starts on Aug. 31, 2019. That competition will validate 7 teams for a 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

This was a initial time a U.S. played a loyal highway diversion during this tournament. The Americans non-stop subordinate in Nov with an 85-78 win in what was a “home” diversion for Puerto Rico – though a competition was indeed played in Orlando, Florida since of continued problems in San Juan following Hurricane Maria.

And this was really most a genuine highway atmosphere.

Not usually was a diversion played during Mexico City’s 7,500-foot altitude, though in a filled 5,000-seat locus that Mexican officials pronounced sole out in usually 45 minutes.

The tinge was set by a U.S. branch a round over on any of a initial 3 possessions, and Mexico was off and running.

The U.S. routed Mexico behind in November, winning by 36 points.

That was a really opposite Mexico team.

Only 4 players from a Mexican register afterwards were in uniform on Thursday night, with a group now means to supplement those who were personification in their several veteran leagues and incompetent to take partial when a subordinate rounds began. Cruz and Mendez-Valdez any had 13 points by halftime, and Gustavo Ayon was a large cause even but large numbers – 4 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists by a break.

If their names are informed to U.S. basketball aficionados, it’s for good reason.

Ayon seemed in 135 NBA games in tools of 3 seasons with 4 opposite franchises, and usually helped Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid win a EuroLeague. Mendez-Valdez was partial of a Western Kentucky group that went to a Sweet Sixteen in 2008, and he won a Sun Belt’s actor of a year endowment in a following season. Cruz played during Wyoming and has played in pro leagues in Mexico, Latvia, Argentina and Spain.

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