Team USA defeated Greece 108-86 in one of its FIBA World Cup tuneups. Coach Steve Kerr expects a much tougher matchup when the two teams square off again in the Philippines on Monday in the USA’s second World Cup game.
“We expect Greece to be better than they were one week ago. … They played a lot better against us after the first quarter and I think they will come in with more confidence than they had last time and we have to be ready for them,” Kerr said. “They gave us some trouble in the second half, but they made a couple of good runs. They are very physical, and they are well-coached, so we are ready for a tough game”.
We have more from the World Cup:
- Paolo Banchero, who scored 21 points as a reserve for Team USA against New Zealand, is impressed by the atmosphere in Manila, Aris Barkis of Eurohoops.net relays. “It feels awesome, the energy is crazy. From the hotel lobby to this awesome arena, it’s a great environment,” the Magic forward said. “Coming off the bench, me and some other guys we want to be live and be ready to go as soon as we check in.”
- Yuta Watanabe, who signed with the Suns this offseason, overcame an ailment to lift Japan past Finland 98-88 Sunday in FIBA World Cup group play at Okinawa, Japan, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic notes. Watanabe, who is battling a right ankle sprain, only scored four points but two of them came on free throws in the final minute to close out the upset win.
- Brazil’s Marcelo Huertas became the second-oldest player to suit up in the World Cup in his team’s 100-59 victory over Iran on Saturday, according to The Associated Press. The former NBA player did more than just appear in the contest, scoring 10 points. Huertas is 40 years and three months old, The oldest player in tournament history was Eduardo Mingas, who was 40 years and seven months old when playing for Angola at the 2019 World Cup. Huertas played 76 games for the Lakers from 2015-17.