The Amer­i­cans need to fin­ish among the top three of the six-team group to qual­ify in the Fiba World Cup

Sun.Star Davao - - FRONT PAGE -

LAS VE­GAS — The U.S. is another step closer to qual­i­fy­ing for the FIBA Bas­ket­ball World Cup.

Frank Ma­son III scored 16 points and the U.S. beat Uruguay 114-57 on Fri­day night in the Amer­i­cans' first game of the se­cond round of qual­i­fy­ing for next year's World Cup. The Amer­i­cans took com­mand with a 15-0 run late in the first quar­ter, and fin­ished the game shoot­ing 61 per­cent.

Chas­son Ran­dle scored 15 points and Der­rick White added 14 for the U.S., which is 6-1 in qual­i­fy­ing. Re­sults from the first round carry over, and Fri­day's win puts the Amer­i­cans in a very strong po­si­tion.

To be as­sured of qual­i­fy­ing for next year's World Cup in China, all the Amer­i­cans need to do is fin­ish among the top three of a six-team group that's also com­posed of Ar­gentina (6-1), Puerto Rico (5-2), Uruguay (4-3), Panama (3-4) and Mex­ico (3-4). Af­ter rolling past Uruguay, the U.S. has a two-game lead over fourth place with five games re­main­ing.

For the first round of qual­i­fy­ing, the U.S. went largely with a ros­ter com­posed of G League play­ers. There was much more of an NBA pres­ence Fri­day, thanks to it still be­ing the off­sea­son.

Of the 11 Amer­i­cans who got into the game, nine had some NBA ex­pe­ri­ence — that group com­bin­ing for 259 ap­pear­ances. And they made sure the out­come of this game was never in doubt.

It was 28-8 af­ter one quar­ter, 56-24 at half­time. Diego Gar­cia's layup mid­way through the open­ing quar­ter got Uruguay within 10-7, and that was about the lone mo­ment of hope for the vis­i­tors.

Ba­con and Moore each had four points in the 15-0 first-quar­ter run, and the Amer­i­cans kept to­tal con­trol the rest of the way.AP


SHOOT. Dwayne Ba­con of the USA shoots against Uruguay de­fend­ers.

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