“We played hungry” – Mikal Bridges after cruising to a comfortable win over Italy


Photo: USA Basketball/X

In 2019, the United States missed out on the Semi-Finals, but they have now returned to the final four. They achieved this by comfortably defeating Italy with a score of 100-63 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.

Coach Steve Kerr and his team are currently awaiting the outcome of the Germany vs. Latvia matchup in their bracket. Meanwhile, Italy will continue to participate in the Classification Games 5-8.

Lithuania managed to defeat the USA, mainly due to their impressive three-point shooting at the beginning of the game, where they made their first nine three-pointers.

In response, the USA focused more on preventing any successful shooting attempts, and they implemented a full-court zone-press defense that caused significant problems for Italy.

Coach Gianmarco Pozzecco’s team struggled to find their rhythm, only scoring 24 points in the first half.

This marked the second-lowest scoring first half by any team 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, which allowed them to comfortably control the game in the second half.

“We just set the tone, that’s what we’ve been preaching,” Mikal Bridges said. “The bench has been doing a good job, but the starters have been letting us down with the slow starts. That was the whole thing, play with force for all 40, don’t wait until it’s too late. That’s what we did, we played hungry.”

Watch the game highlights between Italy and the United States in the Quarter-Finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023:

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