The seemingly endless qualification program for the 2019 FIBA World Cup continues this week, with the U.S. men’s team on a South American road trip for their third and fourth games of the second round:
∙ 29 November:
U.S. vs. Argentina La Rioja (ARG)
Puerto Rico vs. Uruguay Monteveideo (URU)
Mexico vs. Panama Panama City (PAN)
∙ 02 December:
U.S. vs. Uruguay Montevideo (URU)
Puerto Rico vs. Panama Panama City (PAN)
Mexico vs. Argentina La Rioja (ARG)
So far, the U.S. and Argentina are on top of Group E with identical 7-1 records, followed by Puerto Rico (5-3) and Uruguay (5-3) and Mexico and Panama (3-5).
The top three in the group will advance to the World Cup and these next games are the third and fourth of six to be played. So a couple of wins could clinch a spot in the World Cup next year, depending on the other results.
These qualifying rounds are contested without current NBA-roster players, so the U.S. has used mostly G-League players and some who are playing in foreign leagues. Coach Jeff van Gundy has steered the U.S. into an excellent position, especially as the roster for each round of games is different.
The USA November roster includes Joel Berry II (South Bay Lakers); Reggie Hearn (Stockton Kings); Scotty Hopson (Oklahoma City Blue); John Jenkins (Westchester Knicks); DeAndre Liggins (Sioux Falls Skyforce); Eric Moreland (a free agent); Chasson Randle (Capital City Go-Go); Cameron Reynolds (Stockton Kings); Richard Solomon (Oklahoma City Blue); Travis Trice (Wisconsin Herd); Julian Washburn (Austin Spurs) and Tyler Zeller (a free agent).
The second round will be completed with two U.S. home games in February against Panama and Argentina. Look for results here.