RECIFE, BRAZIL – NBA needed to win Sunday’s AmeriCup and was on track to do so.
That is, until it rains.
The Americans’ match against Venezuela was postponed at halftime with the United States leading 48-21. Heavy rain caused multiple leaks inside the Geraldo Magalhães Sports Gymnasium, leading officials to determine that the match could not be safely resumed.
Several hours after the match was stopped, the International Basketball Federation said that the match “was postponed due to technical difficulties in the arena. The decision of the match will be announced within the next few hours, as the date and time of the rescheduling will be announced.”
The matches between Venezuela and the United States in the group stage are scheduled for Monday.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) allowed Group B matches to be played later on Sunday at the same arena as scheduled. The Dominican Republic (1-1) beat the Virgin Islands (0-2), and Argentina (2-0) beat Puerto Rico (1-1).
Venezuela’s match is crucial for the United States, who entered Sunday’s Group C match 0-1 after falling to Mexico in Friday’s opener. The Americans will need at least one win in their three group matches, and possibly two, to reach the quarter-finals starting later this week.
It is possible that Mexico (2-0) secured its berth in the quarter-finals earlier Sunday by leading Panama (0-2).
The Americans gave up the first basket of the game and then went in the 18-2 round and just kept going. The US shot 56% in the first half, compared to Venezuela’s 33%, and led by 24-0 on points from a 3-point range.
Craig Sword had 12 first-half points for the United States, and 11 of the 12 Americans had scored by the time play was stopped.