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MANILA, Philippines — For the first time since a lulling stretch between 1963 to 1970, USA Basketball failed to cop a medal in consecutive FIBA World Cup editions.
The loss stung the Americans as they ran out of steam in overtime, and got countered by an avalanche of Canadian buckets, leading to a 127-118 decision in the battle for bronze that gave Canada its first medal in the global games on Sunday, September 10.
The Americans forced overtime — after an unlikely four-point play by Mikal Bridges — with 0.6 seconds remaining in regulation.
“That was super exciting. I wish we could have finished it off with the win, but we came up short,” said Anthony Edwards, the United States’ top scorer at 18.9 points per game.
“That was dope.”
Edwards poured a team-high 24 points, added 5 rebounds and 3 assists, including some clutch plays down the stretch, but the Americans could not close out the deal as the Canadians came out charging in the extra period behind Dillon Brooks and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Undoubtedly the most dominant nation in the history of the sport, the Americans finished fourth in the quadrennial event, four years after a nightmarish showing in China.
During the 2019 edition, USA finished seventh, its worst World Cup showing ever.
It is the latest subpar international outing for the Americans, months removed from being demoted to world No. 2 in the FIBA men’s rankings behind Spain.
“[It’s been] super tough, especially taking to effect that we’ve been here [for an extended period of time away from the States],” rued Edwards.
“Can’t win ‘em all. We came up short — twice,” said Edwards of their back-to-back losses to Germany in the semifinal and Canada in the battle for third.
As Edwards wraps up his World Cup stint, the Minnesota Timberwolves star looks more than ready to return to NBA action. — Rappler.com