MANILA, Philippines–The US might have secured its spot in subsequent yr’s Olympics, however coach Steve Kerr shouldn’t be enthusiastic about that simply but.
Whereas the Individuals made positive they are going to be taking part in on one other grand basketball stage subsequent yr, Kerr want to deal with the present problem of main his staff to the Fiba World Cup championship regardless of a much less star-studded, NBA-filled roster.
The loss to Lithuania on Sunday night time didn’t put a dent in Workforce USA’s title bid at this level within the event, but it surely did expose flaws heading into the knockout section beginning Tuesday at Mall of Asia Area.
“We’re lucky that the loss doesn’t harm us by way of our purpose, which is to win the gold medal,” mentioned Kerr after the 110-104 loss to Lithuania that dropped the Individuals to no. 2 after the group stage and arrange a face-off in opposition to Italy from the opposite group taking part in in Manila.
“Nevertheless it’s a terrific recreation for us to expertise as a result of that is Fiba you understand, there’s some nice groups which have continuity that perceive what they’re doing that execute. And I assumed Lithuania was good tonight they usually need to win.”
USA and Canada, which additionally superior to the quarterfinal after a come-from-behind win over defending champion Spain, clinched all out there outright Olympic spots for the Americas after Brazil, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic bombed out of rivalry.
Whereas Workforce USA has been stricken by gradual begins all all through that competitors that began final August 25, it confronted a unique beast in Lithuania which made all 9 of its pictures from the three-point space early within the recreation to go up by 21.
Led by younger star Anthony Edwards, who completed with 35 factors, the Individuals rallied within the second half to make it an in depth recreation down the stretch–just for the Lithuanians to have a solution to their each run and make them pay with inconceivable baskets off damaged performs.
“It was a terrific basketball recreation. Lithuania simply got here out of the gates on hearth. I believe they made their first 9 or 10 threes took it to us,” mentioned Kerr. “I really like the way in which our guys fought again performed significantly better within the second half, competed like loopy and gave it a very good run, but it surely wasn’t sufficient.”
Kerr and Workforce USA might have achieved one factor of their journey to basketball-crazed capital Manila–the place they’ve been getting the house crowd remedy virtually each recreation–however they don’t seem to be shedding sight of what they got here right here for.
“It’s an excellent factor to not must undergo any qualifying something additional, and also you don’t have to fret about the rest. However to be sincere, I’m not frightened concerning the Olympics. And you understand, I’m frightened about this. We need to win the World Cup. And that’s our focus,” mentioned Kerr.
Supply: sports activities.inquirer.internet