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USA vs. Panama - Things To Know

  • Date:
    Sep 17, 2018


Here are the things to know about Monday's USA-Panama FIBA World Cup Qualifying matchup in Panama City, Panama.


The USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team carries a 6-1 record into its Sept. 17 second-round game versus 4-3 Panama.  Scheduled to tip at 9 p.m. (EDT), the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.


Recording a 114-57 win over Uruguay in Las Vegas on Friday, the USA concludes the first window of the second round on Monday with a road game against Panama in Panama City, Panama.


FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifying Update

Seven teams from FIBA Americas will qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The top three finishing teams from second round Groups E and F will qualify, as will the best rated fourth place team from Groups E and F.


With wins in Friday’s start of Group E second-round play, Argentina (6-1), USA (6-1) and Puerto Rico (5-2) took another step toward securing a World Cup Qualifying bids and distanced themselves from Uruguay (4-3), Mexico (3-4) and Panama (3-4). 

In Group F, Venezuela (7-1) and Canada (6-1), who plays at Chile Monday, sit in good position, while Brazil (6-2) and Dominican Republic (5-3) are on their heels, while U.S. Virgin Islands is 2-6 and Chile is 1-6.


Coach Van Gundy's Overview of the USA-Panama Game:
It’s going to be hot and heated, it’s a must win for both teams, they’re really good when they have their full roster and they have it. They’re big, physical and strong, and the big difference between when we played them last summer (at the 2017 AmeriCup a game the USA won 97-56) and now is just they’ve got their best players. Their guards are so much better than what we faced in the AmeriCup, they’re so much deeper in the front court. We know what we’re in for, that’s what makes competition fun.”


Coach Van Gundy's on playing in Panama:
I think everybody who is in competition loves it when there is a level of excitement in a building and certainky Panama has played very well at home because of their crowds.  It’s a different level of intensity in national team FIBA games but also national team FIBA games against the U.S.  I think that’s what makes it such a challenge and such a great opportunity."

Coach Van Gundy’s Keys To The USA-Panama Game:

Well (Trevor) Gaskins, their point guard,  is a very good pick-and-roll player so we’ve got to be good there both in transition and their half court sets. And then when the ball is up on the glass they are an incredibly long, tough, strong offensive rebounding team so we’re going to have to get into a fight on the board.” 


Coach Van Gundy On What He Likes About This USA Team:
“I like a lot of things but most of all I like the togetherness and the commitment they’ve made to this whole process. I think we can’t overlook that it is two weeks before NBA training camps and to come and be involved in this event that is really unknown to many people but so important  to USA Basketball. So I would say their commitment and togetherness have stood out.”


Scouting Panama

Panama dropped a hard-fought road game to Puerto Rico Friday night by an 82-73 score. The loss left Panama with a 3-4 record. Following a pair of losses to open World Cup Qualifying play last November, Panama finished first round play winning three of its last four games, including an 86-75 win over Uruguay.  


         Panama's Group A First Round Results

          Uruguay 86, Panama 73

         Argentina 68, Panama 59

         Panama 82, Paraguay 62

         Panama 86, Uruguay 75

         Argentina 87, Panama 62

         Panama 74, Paraguay 67


Opening second round action with an 82-73 loss, Panama’s scoring was paced by Daniel Giron, 17 points, Javier Carter, 16 points, and Trevor Gaskins, 15 points. Versus Puerto Rico, Panama shot just 37.1 percent from the field and shot 29.6 percent from 3-point (8-27 3pt FGs).


Panama City Facts 
Panama City is the capital and largest city of Panama with a population of over 1.5 million in its metropolitan area. Panama’s most famous attraction is the Panama Canal, a 48-mile long artificial waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. 


USA-Panama History

USA Basketball teams are 20-1 all-time versus Panama in international play at all levels. The United States posted a dominating 118-26 win over Panama in the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The U.S. defeated Panama 97-56 in the 2017 AmeriCup during preliminary round play in Uruguay. Panama’s lone victory over the United States came in the 2007 Pan America Games by a 75-67 margin.

The U.S. is 1-0 against Panama in Olympic games; 1-0 in World Cup games; and 5-0 in FIBA Americas Championships contests.

Next Window - USA to face Argenti and Uruguay in Novemeber 29 and Dec. 2 Second Round Road Games
Following completion of the September World Cup Qualifying window, second-round action will resume Nov. 29-Dec. 3.  The USA will face a difficult task of playing road games versus Argentina on Nov. 29 and Uruguay on Dec. 2.  The third and final second-round window will play out Feb. 21-24 with a pair of home games for the USA. The U.S. will host Panama on Feb. 22 and cap qualifying play versus Argentina on Feb. 25.

Recapping The USA's World Cup Qualifying First-Round 

In the first World Cup Qualifying competition window, held Nov. 23-27, the U.S. played its first Americas Zone Group C game Thanksgiving evening and defeated Puerto Rico 85-78 at the University of Central Florida’s CFE Arena in Orlando. The U.S. then closed out the first window with a convincing 91-55 victory over Mexico on Nov. 26 in Greensboro, North Carolina.


Window two saw the U.S. play a pair of home games in Santa Cruz, California. Opening against Cuba on Feb. 23, the USA strolled to a 84-48 win, then three days later knocked off Puerto Rico for a second time by the score of 83-75.


The first-round was closed out with the USA splitting a pair of road games. Falling into a 21-point hole in the first quarter, the USA fought back to within two points but ultimately dropped its first World Cup Qualifying game to Mexico 78-70 on June 28 in Mexico City, Mexico. However, the USA bounced back to defeat Cuba 93-62 in Havana, Cuba, on July 1.


With a 5-1 record in first-round play, the USA claimed first place in Group C and advanced into the second round with its 5-1 record.


The USA opened second-round play with a lopsided 114-57 win over Uruguay in a game played in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Guard Frank Mason led the U.S. with 16 points and a U.S. single game record eight assists, while Casson Randle scored 15 points and Derrick White added 14 points. The USA shot 60.8 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from 3-point (10-19 3pt FGs.).


FIBA World Cup Qualifying Results
Check out the scores and standings for the FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying. 2017-19 Americas World Cup Qualifiers Schedule/Results


The New World-Wide Qualifying Process

FIBA's World Cup Qualifying games are an entirely new process, not only for the USA but the rest of the world, too. The qualifiers will be used to determine the nations that will qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.


Following completion of the Americas second-round games, seven teams will qualify out of the zone for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, including the top three finishing teams from Group E and Group F, and the top rated fourth placed team between Group E and Group F.


Under FIBA’s new competition system, a total of 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia (which now includes Oceania) and Europe initially competed in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifying first round looking to earn a qualifying berth into the 32-team 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China. 


The FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are being used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. China automatically qualified as the host nation of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.


Five teams will qualify from Africa, seven teams from the Americas, seven teams from Asia and 12 teams from Europe. 


The current two-time defending World Cup champion USA men have participated in 17 FIBA World Cups and have collected 12 medals - five gold medals (1954, 1986, 1994, 2010 and 2014), three silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and four bronze medals (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2006). USA teams own an overall record of 123-27.


Results from the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will qualify seven teams for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Additionally, Olympic host, Japan, automatically qualified, and the final four nations will qualify through four FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that will be held in 2020 in advance of the Olympics.


For more information on the new World Cup Qualifying process, check out our crash course here: WCQ Crash Course



USA - Panama Game Information
The game is available via ESPN+ / Broadcast Link
LiveStats:  USA vs. Panama LiveStats 


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