US team facing elimination at Schweitzer
The United States entry in the Albert Schweitzer Tournament will resume play Wednesday with an imposing road ahead of it.
The Americans have struggled so far in the biennial under-18 boys basketball tournament, a prestigious week-long event running through Saturday at Mannheim and Viernheim, Germany. While not yet mathematically eliminated, the U.S. team will require some cooperation from group frontrunners Italy and France if it is to advance to the elimination rounds.
The U.S. team, which launched a surprise run to the tournament championship game in 2014, took a tough 80-78 loss to France as the event opened on Saturday. The Americans scraped into the win column Sunday with a 97-89 overtime defeat of China, but Monday’s 2014 title-game rematch with Italy went awry as the favored reigning champions cruised by an 82-57 margin.
Their 1-2 record puts the Americans in a three-way tie for third place in Group B alongside China and Greece. France and Italy are 3-0 entering Wednesday’s games and in prime position to capture the group’s two spots in the semifinals. They can each make that official Wednesday as France faces China and Italy takes on winless Egypt.
The U.S. faces Greece on Wednesday at 8 p.m. CET and wraps up preliminary play, and perhaps its tournament run, Thursday at 8 p.m. against Egypt.
A similar situation is playing out in Group A as host Germany and Serbia have enjoyed 3-0 starts. Australia, Turkey and Argentina have notched 1-2 records in the group while Japan has yet to win a game.