Team USA vs Puerto Rico, 2019 Pan Am Games
What: Group Play, Round 3
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, August 2nd
Where: Eduardo Dibos Coliseum, Lima, Peru
While Team USA has already secured its spot in the semi-final and medal rounds this weekend, tonight still represents an important game for the Big East All-Stars. A win over Puerto Rico will likely mean an easier path to the gold medal game by avoiding Argentina, the only remaining undefeated team in Group B. Of course that’s easier said than done with Puerto Rico also coming into this game undefeated.
Perimeter defense will be key for the US as they were somewhat bailed out in last night’s game by a dismal shooting performance by Venezuela (5 for 30 from deep). Ed Cooley called out the team for “ball watching”, and losing their men on screens and switches. That will be crucial tonight as Puerto Rico shot 35% from deep on Thursday, including four players that shot 50% or better on their threes.
The two Villanova players, Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels, will look to bounce back from a poor shooting performance themselves. After combining for 27 points in their first game, the pair had just 5 points between them on Thursday. But that didn’t mean they weren’t contributing as Gillespie led the team with 7 rebounds and Samuels led USA with 4 assists. Yeah, not what you’d expect, but it was that kind of game.
Team USA has averaged a 26 point victory through its first two games, but that’s been against arguably lesser competition. Moving forward, they’ll have to sure up their defense and get scoring contributions from more than just Myles Powell, who had 30 against Venezuela. Best of luck to Team USA in tonight’s group play finale!