CALI, COLOMBIA – The U.S. Men’s Team continues to roll at the 2017 IWBF America’s Qualifier by tripling up Uruguay, 78-24. The U.S. Men are a perfect 3-0 in pool play, and have one more game scheduled against Brazil to close out the pool play on Sunday, August 27, at 4 p.m. central time. Leading the way for Team USA on Friday afternoon at the Evangelista Mora Coliseum was 2016 Rio gold medalist Brian Bell of Birmingham, Alabama, who scored 25 points for the win.
The United States defense was stingy once again, holding Uruguay to single-digit scoring quarters (20-5; 40-13; 56-18; 78-24). The momentum continued throughout the four quarters, as USA has now outscored its three opponents, 242-94 through three games.
Jake Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, scored 10 points, and the gold medalist has totaled 55 points in three games. Three-time U.S. Paralympian and gold medalist Steve Serio of Westbury, New York, tallied 10 points, and 4 rebounds. Four-time U.S. Paralympian and gold medalist Matt Scott of Detroit, Michigan, put up a solid performance on both sides of the court with 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Team USA forced a total of 17 turnovers against Uruguay, was credited with 5 steals, and won the rebound game, 26-15.
Uruguay was led by J LaPaz’ 13 points, and Daniel Martinez with 7 points from the floor.
“This was another quality effort from our guys as they played with good effort and intensity throughout,” said U.S. Men’s Head Coach Ron Lykins of Colombia, Missouri. “Our staff has been impressed with the athletes’ focus and determination so far this competition. Now we turn our attention to a very talented Brazil team.”
The U.S. Men were drawn into Group B and will have pool play competition against Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. Group A Teams are: Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.
On August 28, the quarter finals are slated for a 1 p.m. Central start and conclude later that evening. The two semi-final games are slated for August 29 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Central. The medal games are scheduled for August 30 at 3 p.m. with the bronze-medal games, and will be followed with the gold-medal game at 5 p.m. Central.
The United States is led by Head Coach Ron Lykins of Columbia, Missouri, who has coached three teams to gold medals at the Paralympics (2004 and 2008 women; 2016 men). He will be assisted by Robb Taylor of Auburn, Alabama, and Christian Burkett of Seattle, Washington. Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri, returns as the team manager, and Mary Vacala of Savannah, Georgia, will be serving as the athletic trainer.
The America’s Qualifier is the first set of the four-year trek to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The U.S. Men must place in the top four to qualify for the 2018 IWBF World Championships in Hamburg, Germany in August. Following the worlds, the U.S. will play in the 2019 ParaPan American Games set for Lima, Peru.
IWBF America’s Qualifier
August 23-30, 2017
USA def. Mexico, 79-34
USA def. Colombia, 85-36
USA def. Uruguay, 78-24
Date Time (CST) / U.S. Opponent
8/27 4 PM / Brazil
IWBF America’s Qualifier Medal Rounds
8/28 1 PM, Men’s quarter-final
8/28 3 PM, Men’s quarter-final
8/28 5 PM, Men’s quarter-final
8/28 7 PM, Men’s quarter-final
8/29 1 PM, Men’s semi-final
8/29 5 PM, Men’s semi-final
8/30 3 PM, Men’s Bronze-medal game
8/30 5 PM, Men’s Gold-medal game