United States-Venezuela game at AmeriCup postponed after rain leaks into gymnasium

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RECIFE, Brazil — USA Basketball needed a win Sunday at the AmeriCup tournament and was well on the way to making that happen.

That is, until it rained.

The Americans’ game against Venezuela was postponed at halftime with the U.S. leading 48-21. Heavy rain caused multiple leaks inside the Geraldo Magalhães Sports Gymnasium, prompting officials to determine that the game could not be resumed safely.

Several hours after the game was stopped, FIBA said the matchup was “postponed due to technical difficulties in the arena. The resolution of the game will be communicated within the next few hours, in which a rescheduled date and time will be announced.”

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Venezuela and the U.S. both have their final group-stage games scheduled for Monday.

FIBA allowed a later game Sunday at the same arena between the Dominican Republic against the Virgin Islands to begin as scheduled and said a late game between Argentina against Puerto Rico would be played as planned.

The Venezuela game is crucial for the U.S., which entered Group C play Sunday with an 0-1 mark after falling to Mexico in Friday’s opener. The Americans will need at least one win in their three group games, and possibly two victories, to make the quarterfinal round that starts later this week.

Mexico (2-0) clinched a quarterfinal berth earlier Sunday by topping Panama (0-2).

The Americans gave up the game’s first basket then went on an 18-2 run and only kept adding to the lead. The U.S. shot 56% in the first half, compared with 33% for Venezuela, and held a 24-0 lead in points from 3-point range.

Craig Sword had 12 points in the first half for the U.S., and 11 of the 12 Americans had scored by the time play was halted.