The Americans won’t be playing for gold on Sunday, but they will have a chance to medal. It will come in the Bronze Medal Game vs Spain as the FIBA U19 World Cup wraps up.
The U.S. is playing in this game after being beaten by Canada in Saturday’s semifinal action. Despite double-doubles from PJ Washington and Austin Wiley, who combined for 30 points and 28 rebounds, the American were unable to overcome a 38-point outing from Canadian star R.J. Barrett. The U.S. made several late pushes to come within two scores, but ultimately fell by a 99-87 margin.
Hamidou Diallo was held to a mere eight points on 2-of-11 shooting while being limited with foul trouble throughout the game. He and Washington combined to shoot 6-of-25 from the field against Canada, which proved costly in what was a close game most of the way.
Now, the Americans will look to end the tournament on a high note when they face Spain at noon Sunday. It will mark the first Bronze Medal Game for the U.S., which owns a record six gold medals and three silver medals at this event.
This will be the final team we get to see Diallo, Washington, Cameron Reddish, Immanuel Quickley, Louis King and Romeo Langford in action before they head off into the summer. UK will have Diallo and Washington on campus next season while hoping to land one, if not more of the group of Quickley, King, Langford and Reddish in the Class of 2018.
As for the Spanish, they’re led by star forward Eric Vila, who plays collegiately at Texas A&, where he’ll be a sophomore next season. Vila currently ranks 10th in FIBA scoring with 13.5 points per game. He’s making 38.7 percent of his shots and does almost all of his damage inside the paint, so the Americans’ imposing frontcourt of Washington, Wiley and Brandon McCoy should be able to keep Vila in check.
Here is everything you’ll need to watch and follow Sunday’s matchup:
USA (5-1) vs Spain (5-1) in the FIBA U19 World Cup Bronze Medal Game
Location: Cairo Stadium in Cairo, Egypt
Date: July 9th at 12 pm EST
Here is the USA roster via FIBA:
Here is an updated bracket from the FIBA World Cup thus far: