SANTA CRUZ DO SUL (Brazil) – In front of their home fans inside of Ginasio Poliesportivo Arnao, Brazil had plenty of reason to celebrate after defeating USA 83-76, ensuring they would keep their streak of qualifying for every FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Brazil were playing for their World Cup lives, as a loss would’ve eliminated them, but they qualified as the best fourth-place team from Group F, ahead of Group E’s Argentina.
The decisive moment for tonight’s home team came in the third quarter. After trading blows back-and-forth with USA for the majority of the quarter, Brazil closed out the third frame on a 9-2 run to stretch their lead out to 62-54. USA could only get as close as within 4 points for the rest of the game.
With the win, Brazil also ended their two-game home losing streak in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Americas Qualifiers, while USA’s four-game winning streak on the road in the qualifiers was snapped.
Bruno Caboclo led the charge for Brazil, scoring a game-high 21 points along with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks, while shooting 8-of-12 from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from three-point. The 27-year-old forward didn’t commit a single turnover in the game.
He got off to a hot start in the first quarter with 9 points, throwing down multiple dunks that got the crowd into the game from the start.
Yago Santos was instrumental in running the offense for Brazil, showing he’s ready to take the keys as the point guard of the future. He finished with 17 points, a game-high 8 assists and 2 rebounds off the bench. The 23-year-old also converted 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc.
Rafael Hettsheimeir also contributed 11 points off the bench. He and Santos combined to score 28 of Brazil’s 36 total bench points.
USA, who finished the qualifiers 9-3 and were already qualified to the World Cup, were once again led by Langston Galloway who closed his qualifying campaign with a team-high 19 points along with 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists. He shot 50 percent (7-of-14) from the field and also knocked down five of the team’s nine made threes.
The difference in the game came down to free-throw shooting, as USA only got 5-of-17 shots to fall from the charity stripe. Brazil, meanwhile, made 25-of-32.