USA will now face France for a place in the semi-finals
It’s official, Team USA will be going to the Tokyo Olympics, and now the Fiba World Cup quarter-finals await.
Officially official ✍️
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) September 9, 2019
Kemba Walker and Myles Turner each scored 16 points, and the Americans earned a top seed for the quarter-finals by beating Brazil 89-73 on Monday in the final second-round game of the tournament.
The US, bidding to become the first nation to win three consecutive World Cups, will face France on Wednesday and won’t have to go through any extra qualifying tournament next summer for the Olympics.
“We’re thrilled that we’ve qualified for the Olympics,” said USA coach Gregg Popovich, who will lead the Americans in Tokyo next summer as well. “With this new situation in qualifying, you don’t want to do that every year. That’s a pretty big grind.”
It was a win three nations could celebrate. The US victory not only resulted in an Olympic berth but also clinched an Olympic spot for Argentina and a quarter-final spot for the Czech Republic. The Czechs moved on despite losing earlier Monday to NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greece. The Czech Republic grabbed the last place in the round of eight via a three-team, points-differential tiebreaker over Greece and Brazil after they all went 3-2 in group play.
France, a 100-98 loser to Australia on Monday, await the US on Wednesday in the quarter-finals. In the other quarter-finals, Spain play Poland and Serbia face Argentina on Tuesday. Australia meet the Czech Republic on Wednesday.
“Pop talked about how this is June, this is June basketball,” US guard Joe Harris said, referencing the NBA finals. “That’s what our mentality has got to be like.”