SHANGHAI, Sept. 1 -- Team USA pocketed its first victory of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup as the defending champion beat the Czech Republic 88-67 in Group E here on Sunday.
"USA don't get comfortable!" Kobe Bryant's words in FIBA's promotional video went viral, and the young team played the first five minutes as if to pay a tribute to Mr. Bryant intentionally.
The Americans became obsessed with fruitless shot attempts after starting 7-2, and trailed 11-7 with more than three minutes without a goal from the field.
Coach Gregg Popovich displayed a tentative substitution pattern, putting 11 players on the floor in the first period alone. His trials gradually paid off as his team rallied from behind and led 17-14 as the first quarter ended.
The Czech team was contained as the Americans put more pressure on the ball in the second quarter. They found their rhythm through fast breaks and led in double digits for the first time 27-16. The game turned purely American style for the rest of time, but the Czech cagers also put on quite a show as their NBA player Tomas Satoransky put up a game-high 17 points.
"I have to say our opponent executed better than us in offense. They lost the game, but they should feel good about their effort and execution," said Popovich.
"It's always disappointing when you lose a game but I think this was against the best team in the world. Our game plan went well. Overall though, I am very satisfied with our game defensively and offensively. I hope it will give us confidence as we continue," said Czech Republic coach Ronen Ginzburg.
Team USA will compete against Turkey on Tuesday.
FOSHAN, China, Aug. 31 -- Serbia's head coach Sasha Djordjevic kept a cool mindset about his team's lop-sided win over Angola in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 opener here on Saturday. "It's a go...（查看全文）
SHENZHEN, Aug. 31 -- Zhang Weili knocked out Brazilian Jessica Andrade after just 42 seconds of the first round to claim the UFC World Strawweight Championship, here in Shenzhen at the Shenzhen Unive...（查看全文）
SHANGHAI, Aug. 31 -- Chicago Bulls player Tomas Satoransky of the Czech Republic said here on Saturday that playing against team USA will be one of the toughest challenges of his life, but added that...（查看全文）
BEIJING, Aug. 31 -- Powerhouses Serbia and Spain bagged their opening wins easily as hosts China snatched its first Group A win by beating Cote d'Ivoire 70-55 here on Saturday at 2019 FIBA World Cup....（查看全文）
ROME, Aug. 31 -- Thanks to an own goal in the stoppage time, Juventus, who conceded three goals in 16 minutes, finally beat Napoli 4-3 in Serie A at Allianz Stadium on Saturday. It was a lively start...（查看全文）