By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
MANILA, Philippines – On paper the game against Greece will be the biggest test of Team USA in the first phase of the FIBA World Cup.
And those two teams have a history.
Back in 2006, Greece beat the USA in the FIBA World Cup semifinal.
“For me is what I have seen in the “Redeem Team” doc, I guess I didn’t know anything else about USA Basketball before 2008, except for the Dream Team until I saw that documentary”, said Tyrese Haliburton to Eurohoops.
However, this is an old story. Greece at the time was the defending Eurobasket champion, eager to make history. This summer the Greeks are missing their most prominent star, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
They have a roster with many rookies in a big FIBA tournament, and one week ago they lost to the USA in Abhu Dabi in a prep game.
Still, Haliburton and the rest of the US team, like coach Steve Kerr, expect a really different game on Monday.
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“They had success against us with their pressure in the first game, so I expect to see a lot of that, them being as physical as they can be”, admits Haliburton.
That’s why the US will be more than motivated for this game. After all, as Haliburton explains: “In general, the USA didn’t win the FIBA World Cup the last time we were here and it’s important to get us the gold back. I think that’s the biggest motivation”.