LAS VEGAS — The U.S. is another step closer to qualifying for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Frank Mason III scored 16 points and the U.S. beat Uruguay 114-57 on Friday night in the Americans’ first game of the second round of qualifying for next year’s World Cup. The Americans took command with a 15-0 run late in the first quarter, and finished the game shooting 61 percent.
Chasson Randle scored 15 points and Derrick White added 14 for the U.S., which is 6-1 in qualifying. Results from the first round carry over, and Friday’s win puts the Americans in a very strong position.
To be assured of qualifying for next year’s World Cup in China, all the Americans need to do is finish among the top three of a six-team group that’s also composed of Argentina (6-1), Puerto Rico (5-2), Uruguay (4-3), Panama (3-4) and Mexico (3-4). After rolling past Uruguay, the U.S. has a two-game lead over fourth place with five games remaining.
For the first round of qualifying, the U.S. went largely with a roster composed of G League players. There was much more of an NBA presence Friday, thanks to it still being the offseason.
Of the 11 Americans who got into the game, nine had some NBA experience – that group combining for 259 appearances. And they made sure the outcome of this game was never in doubt.
It was 28-8 after one quarter, 56-24 at halftime. Diego Garcia’s layup midway through the opening quarter got Uruguay within 10-7, and that was about the lone moment of hope for the visitors.
Bacon and Moore each had four points in the 15-0 first-quarter run, and the Americans kept total control the rest of the way.
There are three “windows” for second-round games – one that started Thursday and runs through Monday, another going from Nov. 29 through Dec. 3, and then the final one from Feb. 21-25. G-League players will represent the USA in those windows. The World Cup begins Aug. 31 and NBA players will return for that.
Uruguay: Hosts Mexico on Monday.
U.S.: Visits Panama on Monday.