MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Saturday completed the four-game International Friendly competition that was taking place between Team USA and Mexico. The games were being hosted at the Mexico Olympic Committee in Mexico City, Mexico. The top scorers of the night were 2016 Paralympic gold medalists Jake Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Steve Serio of Westbury, New York.
Jake Williams managed to score 15 points tonight and 3 rebounds. Williams, a member of the 2016 gold-medal team, is the only player who has scored double digits all four nights. Collectively, he’s scored 62 points. Serio, the 2016 co-captain, also scored 15 points and 6 total rebounds.
Brian Bell of Forest Park, Illinois, and Jared Arambula of Valparaiso, Indiana, also played a hard game tonight. Bell scored 10 points while Arambula had 9 points under his belt tonight. They also scored 3 and 2 rebounds, respectively.
Team Mexico’s top scorer of the night was Salvador Sandoval with 11 points. He also managed to snag 6 rebounds. Team Mexico narrowly out rebounded USA for the second consecutive game, 32-30. During the first two games, Team USA almost doubled up Mexico in the rebound category.
The Friendly Competition was a way for Team USA to gear up for Cali, Columbia, 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 Paralympic Games 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.