The USA men earned themselves a spot in the gold-medal game of the 2017 IWBF America’s Cup, by defeating Argentina, 50-36, in the first of the day’s semi-finals.
The USA started the game well finishing the first quarter with a 19-10 advantage. They made hard work of maintaining the lead as Argentina pulled the score back to just 6 points at the end of the first half. However, a strong third quarter from the USA gave them a nine point advantage again, and despite Argentina’s best efforts, the experience of the USA paid dividends and they saw out the game.
Brian Bell was the top scorer finishing with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Both Jake Williams and Ryan Neiswender scored 10 points and grabbed 2 rebounds each. Adolfo Berdun and Carlos Alberto Esteche were the top scorers for Argentina with 10 points each.
Canada also advanced to the gold-medal game with a decisive 69-43 victory over Brazil in the second semi-final.
After trading baskets with Brazil in the first quarter, the Canadians found their rhythm with the help of captain Bo Hedges. They carried that momentum forward in a dominant second quarter to take a 20-point lead, 41-21, into half-time. Canada kept up the pressure in the second half, forcing a number of turnovers and converting on the mistakes by the Brazilian side. Brazil came out firing in the fourth quarter, but the gap proved too much and Canada eased to the win.
Canada’s scoring was shared across the team, Patrick Anderson topped the leader board with a double-double 21 points and 15 rebounds and falling just two assists shy of a triple-double. Nik Goncin picked up 16 points, Hedges contributed 14 points and David Eng added 10 points for the Canadians. Brazil’s joint top scorers were Erick Da Silva and Gelson Junior Da Silva with 10 points apiece.
In the other men’s game of the day, Uruguay picked up their first win of the tournament over Costa Rica, 62-49. A double double from Costa Rica’s Kenneth Gonzalez, 27 points and 15 rebounds, wasn’t enough to challenge the Uruguayan’s who finished the game with four players in double figures. The win means Uruguay finish in 9th place whilst Costa Rica finish 10th.
Image Courtesy of Inspire Colombia