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MANILA, Philippines – FIBA World Cup crowd favorite Austin Reaves was a humble man in defeat after Germany ousted the USA in a thrilling 113-111 knockout semifinal win at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, September 8.
While he and the rest of his teammates were still understandably stinging from the pain of falling short in the program’s redemption bid, Reaves nonetheless took the time to congratulate Germany and most notably, his friend and former LA Lakers teammate Dennis Schroder.
“Tip your hat [to Germany]. I’m very happy for Dennis [Schroder]. Like I said a million times, I got a lot of love for him and his family, and I know how special this moment is for him,” he said even after it was Schroder who sank the game-sealing jumper in his face with 40 seconds left.
Despite the loss, Reaves himself was no slouch, sparking the USA offense like he always does with 21 points off the bench on 7-of-10 shooting and 3-of-5 from three in just 24 minutes.
It wasn’t enough, however, to stop Germany’s own relentless offensive rally, as Schroder bounced back from his horrendous 9-point, 4-of-26 shooting night against Latvia with 17 points on a 7-of-13 clip, 9 assists, and 2 steals.
Schroder’s playmaking also paved the way for other excellent offensive outings like Andreas Obst’s 24-point game, Franz Wagner’s 22-point effort, and Daniel Theis’ 21-point line.
For Reaves, allowing that kind of offensive production across so many sources is just a recipe for disaster.
“You all watched the same game I played. You give up 113 points in a 40-minute game, you’re not going to win many of those, so…defense,” he continued.
“Anytime you lose, at least for me, I can probably speak for every guy in the locker room as well and the coaching staff, anytime you lose, it sucks. As a competitor, losing is literally the worst thing that could possibly happen. It’s a way worse feeling than winning is a good feeling.”
With USA’s chance for a gold medal blown to bits by the Germans, Reaves now eyes a strong exit in the bronze medal match against Canada to salvage a podium finish for their vaunted program.
“[We must] win. Obviously, we didn’t come to do what we want to do. As a competitor, I know the bunch of guys we got in the locker room will come out and compete to win that game, even though it’s not where we want to be.” – Rappler.com