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USA to Suffer their Worst Ever Finish in a FIBA World Cup Tournament

USA to Suffer their Worst Ever Finish in a FIBA World Cup Tournament

Players from the USA team in 2019 FIBA World Cup

USA have lost their second consecutive game in the ongoing FIBA World Cup on Thursday when they suffered a narrow 94-89 loss against Serbia, after losing to France earlier. They have a game against Poland to go, a game after which, irrespective of the result, USA will not finish above seventh.

This would be their worst finish in the history of FIBA World Cup.

After a disappointing tournament USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo expressed his dismay.

“The players did everything they can do,” he told the Associated Press. “They are a good group of guys. But we went in with higher expectations in terms of roster and it didn’t kind of happen the way we were hopeful and anticipating and expecting. That, to me, was a big disappointment.”

U.S. assistant coach Steve Kerr said, “It’s a great, great group of guys who are competing. They’ve been so committed to each other and the process. You take a lot of pride in that and you’re disappointed for them. But this is life.”

America’s loss to France in the quarterfinals ended a streak of seven major international tournaments — four Olympics and three World Cups.

“I can only say, you can’t help but notice and remember who you thought you were going to war with and who didn’t show up,” Colangelo said. “I’m a firm believer that you deal with the cards you’re dealt. All we could have done, and we did it, is get the commitments from a lot of players. So with that kind of a hand you feel reasonably confident that you’re going to be able to put a very good representative team on the court.

“No one would have anticipated the pull-outs that we had.”

“We’re going to let the dust settle, let things depress a little bit,” he added. “Obviously I’m always thinking ahead which means what’s going to take place, and it’s going to happen fast and soon because we just have to get our act together for the Olympics.”

The loss to Serbia ensured that US will either finish seventh or eight. Their previous lowest result in a FIBA World Cup was in 2002 when they finished sixth.

“Going forward for USA Basketball, we’re going to need the cooperation of teams, agents and then there has to be communication with players 1-on-1 to solidify those commitments,” Colangelo said in the aftermath of the team’s disappointing performance. “I am going to be anxious to see how many players reach out early to indicate that they wish and want and desire to play.

“But I’ll make this statement: It’s as much about maybe who we don’t want as much as who we want.”

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