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Team USA Comes Up Short to France at U23 Men’s World Championships

06/10/2017, 12:00pm CDT

Photo Courtesy of Wheelchair Basketball Canada

TORONTO, CANADA – The U.S. Men’s U23 team ran out of time in a second half surge, falling short to France, 62-54, at the 2017 IWBF U23 Men’s World Championships, held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto. The United States fell to 0-3 in pool play, and is in a must-win situation against Japan on Sunday.

Team USA was paced by NWBA collegiate stars Kyle Gribble of Elmhurst, Illinois (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater) and Marshall Lindsay of Stansbury Park, Utah (University of Missouri), who scored 24 and 12 points, respectively. University of Texas at Arlington’s Fabian Romo of Missouri City, Texas, contributed 10 points as well.

The United States was close in the first, only down 18-16, however the French pulled away in the second quarter with a 19-point scoring run, for a 40-24 lead going into halftime. The Americans were unable to break down France’s lead in the third playing to a 13-13 quarter, 53-37. In the fourth, Team USA ran out of time shutting down France with a 17-9 advantage.

“We put ourselves behind in the first half and ran out of time to catch up in the second half,” said U.S. U23 Head Coach Jeremy Lade of Whitewater, Wisconsin. “The team has improved as the tournament progresses and we are looking ahead to tomorrow knowing we will need to play our best game yet.”

Louis Hardoin led France with 27 points, with Alexis Ramonet putting up 16 points for the win.

For the first time in the tournament, Team USA led in shooting percentage with 46 percent, while France was 38 percent from the floor. Team USA led the rebound game, 37-31.

Up next, the United States will tip-off on Sunday against Japan at 12 p.m. EDST.

Joining Lade on the sidelines are assistant coaches Christian Burkett of Seattle, Washington, and Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri. Kelly Fischbach will serve as the Team Leader, with Mike Lenser of Whitewater, Wisconsin working at the athletic trainer.

The United States was drawn into Pool B for the 12-team World Championships. Quarterfinals for the World Championships is slated for June 14, followed by 5th-10th place games and semi-finals on June 15. The gold and bronze medal games scheduled for June 16.

The U23 men’s wheelchair basketball program is an international development team that serves as NWBA pipeline to the U.S. Men’s National Team. This program provides elite youth athletes the opportunity to compete at the international level. Team USA has reached the championship game in three of the last five U23 World Championships, having won in 2005 and 2009. The United States claimed a bronze medal in 2001, and did not participate in 2013. 

2017 IWBF U23 Men’s World Championships Results

Toronto, Canada, June 8-16

Pool Play – USA record, 0-3

Great Britain def. USA, 87-50

Germany def. USA, 75-51

France def. USA, 62-54

2017 IWBF U23 Men’s World Championships Schedule

Toronto, Canada, June 8-16 (All Times EDST / Home Team Listed Last)

June 11 at 12 p.m.

USA vs. Japan

June 12 at 12 p.m.

South Africa vs. USA

June 14

11th/12th Place Game at 10 a.m.

Quarterfinals at 12 p.m.; 3 p.m.; 6 p.m.; 8 p.m.

June 15

9th/10th Place Game at 10 a.m.

7th/8th Place Game at 12 p.m.

5th/6th Place Game at 3 p.m.

Semi-Finals at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

June 16

Bronze Medal Game at 10 a.m.

Gold Medal Game at 12 p.m.

2017 IWBF U23 Men’s World Championships Pools

Toronto, Canada, June 8-16

Pool A: Turkey, Iran, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Italy

Pool B: Great Britain, Japan, United States, France, South Africa, Germany

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