Abu Dhabi: The thrilling culmination of International Basketball Week and USA Basketball Showcase brought fans to their feet as the USA Men’s National Team emerged victorious in an intense showdown with Germany at the Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi.
In a high-tempo game, setting the stage for the upcoming 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup, the USA team weathered Germany’s early advantage that saw them lead by 16 points in the third quarter, before managing to regain the advantage. With Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers) and Austin Reaves (LA Lakers) helping Team USA crawl back the lead, it was Anthony Edwards who ultimately sealed the 99-91 victory.
In front of a raucous crowd on the final night of USA Basketball Showcase, Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves) fed off the energy of the fans to score two key three-pointers as the USA Team finished the game strong. For Germany, Denis Schroder (Toronto Raptors) led the team with 16 points, with fellow NBA star Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic), scoring 17. The energy and enthusiasm in the arena were palpable as fans from all around cheered for their respective teams, setting the stage for an intense showdown on the court.
The curtain-closing exhibition marked the end of an exhilarating week of basketball action in the UAE capital held in partnership with Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi’s continuous endeavours to shine a light on the UAE capital’s ability to host major sporting events.
Reflecting on the USA Team preparation so far, Edwards, who emerged top-scorer with 34 points, said: “This was the best game I’ve had so far. We were down 15 points in the third quarter, that got us closer as a team. This was fun, and it’s been a while I hadn’t had so much fun in a game. We had to face adversity and it was a fight for us. Tyrese Haliburton and Austin Reeves came big in the second half and the energy that came from them off the bench was much-needed for us to win the game.”
Speaking on the win against Germany, Austin Reaves, said: “This is one of the most important games for us in preparation for the World Cup. We faced a talented team in Germany with them having many NBA players in the squad. This win felt good.”
As the global basketball community eagerly awaits the start of the quadrennial FIBA World Cup, which tips off on Aug. 25, the USA’s triumph at USA Basketball Showcase reinforces their status as favourites in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines.