SAN ANTONIO, Texas – With three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic gold medalist David Robinson looking on, the USA U18 National Team (3-0) exacted a bit of revenge Monday night with an 88-67 victory over Argentina (2-1) in the final preliminary game at the FIBA U18 Americas Championship for Men at Bill Greehey Arena in San Antonio, Texas. At the 2008 tournament, Argentina beat the USA for the U18 gold medal in Formosa, Argentina.
"We have a lot of respect for Argentina," said USA and University of Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel. "We have a lot of respect for how hard they play, a lot of respect for how good they are and how well they're coached. I think our guys played accordingly, with the exception of that last quarter. Our guys really came out with urgency to play, defend, rebound and execute. We did it with some foul trouble. We were battling foul trouble. Our best guard, Kyrie (Irving) wasn't in there. We took that lead and kept that lead with Kyrie not being on the floor."
Kyrie Irving finished with 10 points in 12 minutes of action, missing a majority of the first half after picking up a pair of early fouls. He went 4-of-7 from the field, including 2-of-3 from three-point range while adding two assists and two steals in the contest. Duke's Josh Hairston finished with one rebound in 16 minutes of action.
On Tuesday, the USA, which won Group B, will face Canada (2-1), the second-place team in Group A. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. (all times CDT). Argentina, which finished behind USA, takes on Brazil (3-0), the first-place team from Group A, at 5:00 p.m. The gold medal game is slated for 7:00 p.m. Wednesday. All four teams earlier qualified for the 2011 U19 World Championship in Latvia.