In 2019, the United States fell short of reaching the Semi-Finals. However, they have now made a strong comeback, securing a spot in the final four by defeating Italy convincingly with a score of 100-63 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
Coach Steve Kerr and his team are patiently awaiting the outcome of the Germany vs. Latvia matchup in their bracket. Meanwhile, Italy will continue to participate in the Classification Games 5-8.
The USA’s loss to Lithuania was primarily due to Lithuania’s remarkable three-point shooting at the start of the game, where they successfully made their first nine three-pointers.
In response, the USA shifted its focus towards preventing any successful shooting attempts and employed a full-court zone-press defense, which caused significant problems for Italy.
Coach Gianmarco Pozzecco’s team struggled to find their rhythm, managing to score only 24 points in the first half.
This marked the second-lowest first-half score in the history of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Quarter-Finals, with Turkey’s 23-point first half against Argentina in 2006 being the only lower score.
In contrast, the United States scored 46 points during the same period, establishing a commanding 22-point lead that allowed them to comfortably maintain control of the game in the second half.
“It was our best defensive effort of the tournament to this point, and that’s what it’s going to take to win two more games,” Steve Kerr said.
“You always wanna respond to a loss with a competitive effort, and the joy and competitiveness go hand in hand when you compete and play with that kind of force and energy.”
Watch the game highlights between Italy and the United States in the Quarter-Finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: