Charismatic Italian Coach Gianmarco Pozzecco was hoping for a repeat of the 1978 win over the Americans which also happened here in the Philippines. But on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, Team USA had different plans as they started the game very aggressively both on the defensive and the offensive end. The Americans actively went for the offensive rebounds and the second chance points made a big difference early on. Brooklyn Nets guard Mikal Bridges lead the way finishing with a team-high 24 points, 7 rebounds and 4/6 from the 3 point line, as he ended up with the TCL Player of the Game award.
At the half, Team USA lead 24-46, and continued to dominate the second half, by out-scoring the Italians 40-11 on bench points to end the third quarter and shooting 55.4% from the field.
Simone Fontecchio fouled out in the fourth quarter and tallied 18 points, 5 rebounds in 24 minutes. The only other Italian to score double digits was Stefano Tonut who ended the game with 11 points 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Tyrese Haliburton went on a rampage from behind the stripe as he shot 6/8 and ended the evening with 18 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.
Germany and Latvia will go against each other on Wednesday at 4:45PM Manila time, the winner will battle it out with the USA in the late tip-off on Friday, the 8th of September.
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