USA Men handles Japan to finish atop Group D

USA's Noah Valencia looks for a pass during USA's preliminary round match against Japan
(Photo courtesy 2019 World Deaf Basketball Championships)

USA 93
Japan 41

LUBLIN, POLAND⁠—Though the game started with the two teams trading points, a disciplined offense and an unforgiving defense allowed United States to run away from Japan at the end of the first quarter.

Turnovers created problems for Japan throughout the game, as the Americans converted twenty Japanese turnovers into 27 points. The Americans also demonstrated their versatility with a balanced inside attack that contributed to six players scoring in double digits for a total of 68 points in the paint.

USA's Andy Cruz goes for two of his twelve points as part of a balanced inside attack
(Photo courtesy 2019 World Deaf Basketball Championships)

The United States' game plan to challenge and limit Japan's primary threat, its three-point shooting, proved effective. The Stars and Stripes' shutdown defense limited Japan to 4/21 shooting, good for only 19%. On the glass, United States proved merciless, collecting 51 rebounds, which allowed the Americans to dominate on the fast break and control the pace of the game.

USA created headaches for Japan by dominating the fast break, as Steve Valencia-Biskupiak converts an easy layup
(Photo courtesy 2019 World Deaf Basketball Championships)

Allowing only 5 points in the 3rd quarter and 4 points in the 4th quarter, USA's team defense shows signs of drastic improvement over the first game. The Americans appear to be buying into their coaches' philosophy that a defensive attitude wins games. Every player on Team USA had a positive plus/minus rating, and each player is getting getting quality minutes which has helped team chemistry after just two games.

Team USA's next game is Wednesday, July 3 against Spain in the
quarterfinals and looks to improve upon its previous 2 performances.

USA and Japan pose for a photo after the game
(Photo courtesy 2019 World Deaf Basketball Championships)

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