US holds off Colombia in World Cup qualifying, France wins

USA Basketball’s magic number to clinch a World Cup berth is down to one.

Langston Galloway and David Stockton each scored 23 points and pushed the Americans close to earning a spot in next year’s World Cup with an 88-81 win over Colombia on Monday night.

The Americans improved to 8-2 in qualifying, with two games to play — those coming in February, both on the road. There are several ways for the United States to clinch their place in the 32-team World Cup squad, the easiest of them being a win over Uruguay on February 23 or Brazil on February 26.

“It’s really about the character of your guys,” said USA coach Jim Boylen. “And we have a group of character, guys who care.”

The World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia next summer. There was a scenario in which the United States could have won on Monday night, if Brazil had lost to Mexico. Brazil won 102-56.

Instead, Americans now have to wait until February. The only way for them not to qualify for the World Cup – the main way for teams to earn a place in the Paris Olympics in 2024 – is to lose both games in February, and have at least four results of other games that don’t suit them, and then they should lose a streak of tiebreakers on top of all that.

The situation would have been disastrous if Colombia had managed the surprise. That scared the United States a bit, closing within seven early in the fourth quarter and missing a shot that would have reduced the deficit to five.

It was then that Galloway took over.

He scored the next 10 points for the United States, a pair of 3-pointers in this run, to meet all of Colombia’s challenges. Stockton made a 3-pointer with 4:09 to go for an 80-67 lead, and the Americans would escape.

“I didn’t want to let my team lose,” Galloway said. “I didn’t want to disappoint everyone. I knew it was important to wear this United States on the front of my chest and to wear my name on the back.”

It was normal for Galloway and Stockton to take over on the stretch. The United States have used more than 40 different players in the 10 qualifying games, changing the roster every two-game window, with Galloway and Stockton being the veterans who have appeared in most games this cycle.

Michaell Jackson scored 25 for Colombia and Romario Roque added 24.

WEMBANYAMA, FRANCE VICTORY

Victor Wembanyama could very well be on his way to the World Cup next summer.

The 18-year-old French star – the presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft – put on a show on Monday, as France clinched their place in the World Cup squad with a 92-56 victory over the Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Wembanyama had 19 points in just over 24 minutes.

“The NBA will be a whole new world, but I want to be at the World Cup in 2023,” Wembanyama said Monday.

France were among the six teams qualified for the World Cup on Monday. The others: defending champion Spain, Greece, Lithuania, Slovenia and Italy.

FIELD UPDATE

So far, 17 of the 32 places in the running have been won. The last 15 will be secured in February.

Region of the Americas: Canada earned a spot. Six remain for FIBA ​​Americas teams, with eight nations – USA, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Panama – still in contention. these places. Colombia, the Bahamas and Panama were eliminated.

Europe Region: Latvia, Greece, Germany, Finland, Slovenia, France, Lithuania, Spain and Italy. This leaves three places out of the 12 allocated to Europe; Serbia, Georgia and Montenegro currently have the best chance of claiming them. The other teams still in contention are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Hungary, Iceland and Ukraine, who stayed alive with a 79-72 win over Iceland on Monday. Turkey, Great Britain, Sweden, Israel, Estonia, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands were eliminated.

Africa Region: Côte d’Ivoire is in the game, and that leaves four places. Angola, South Sudan, Egypt and Cape Verde are the best placed to drop out; Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Congo and Guinea are also in the game. Uganda and Cameroon were eliminated.

Asia-Oceania Region: Lebanon, New Zealand, Australia and China qualified. Japan and the Philippines have also qualified as tournament hosts. This leaves two spots for Iran, Kazakhstan, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Bahrain and India were eliminated.

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