MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – The third game of the International Friendly Competition between Team USA and Mexico took place tonight. The four-game event is being hosted at the Mexico Olympic Committee in Mexico City, Mexico. Jake Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jorge Sanchez of Delano, Calidornia, and Ryan Neiswender of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, were the top three scorers of the night, collectively scoring 28 points for the 58-56 win.
Jake Williams, a member of the 2016 gold-medal team, is looking forward to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. He’s played a selfless game the past three nights and managed to score double digits each night, totaling 47 points. Sanchez and Neiswender were the next top scorers with 9 and 8 points, respectively. Sanchez and Neiswender each also had one rebound tonight.
Team Mexico’s top scorers of the night were once again Efrain Martinez and Eduardo Piieto, who snagged 8 and 7 rebounds, respectively. Martinez was the top scorer for Mexico with 16 points, while Piieto scored 12 total points tonight. Team Mexico also out rebounded USA, 32-29.
Team USA will play Team Mexico once again tomorrow night, prior to its departure to 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.