MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - The U.S. Men’s National Team, currently at the Mexico Olympic Committee in Mexico City, Mexico, opened up a four-game International Friendly competition against Mexico on Wednesday. 2016 Paralympic gold medalists Steve Serio of Westbury, New York, and Jake Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, scored a collective 23 points for the 61-51 win.
Williams had the hot hand on the night scoring 13 points, while Serio finished the night with 10 points, and led the team with four assists. Jorge Salazar of San Diego, California, finished with double digits with 10 points, and snagged 6 rebounds.
The United States’ defense was led by Rio gold medalists Brian Bell of Forest Park, Illinois, and Matt Scott of Detroit, Michigan, who had 9 and 7 rebounds, respectively. On the night, Team USA out rebounded Mexico, 42-27.
Team USA will tip off again three more nights against Mexico, prior to their direct departure to Cali, Colombia, for the 2017 IWBF America’s Qualifier, set for August 23-30. The United States must finish in the top four, in order to qualify for the 2018 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.
Team USA is led by Head Coach Ron Lykins of Columbia, Missouri. Lykins has coached three U.S. Teams to gold medals at the Paralympics. He is assisted by Robb Taylor of Auburn, Alabama; and Christian Burkett of Seattle, Washington. Returning as the team manager is Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri. Rounding out the team is Mary Vacala of Savannah, Georgia, who is serving as the athletic trainer.
The journey to Tokyo 2020 has officially begun. Make sure to check back the NWBA website frequently to keep up with the progress of Team USA. There will be updates regarding Team USA’s success in Mexico City as well as game updates of their progress in the 2017 America’s Cup Qualifier, beginning August 23.