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

RECIFE, Brazil — USA basketball needed a win at the AmeriCup tournament on Sunday and was on track to get it.

That is, until it rained.

The Americans’ game against Venezuela was postponed at halftime, with the United States leading 48-21. Heavy rain caused multiple leaks at the Geraldo Magalhães Sports Gymnasium, leading officials to determine that play could not safely resume.

A few hours after play was halted, 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, during which a new date and time will be announced.”

Venezuela and USA both have their final group stage games scheduled for Monday.

FIBA allowed a later game Sunday in the same arena and it was held without issue. The Dominican Republic defeated the Virgin Islands 77-58, and a late match between Argentina and Puerto Rico was still on track to be played as scheduled.

The game against Venezuela is crucial for the USA, who entered Group C on Sunday 1-0 after losing to Mexico in Friday’s opener. The Americans need at least one win in their three group games, possibly two wins, to advance to the quarterfinals, which begin later this week.

Mexico (2-0) secured a spot in the quarterfinals earlier Sunday by beating Panama (0-2).

The Americans conceded the first basket of the game, then took an 18-2 lead and continued to extend the lead. The US shot 56% in the first half compared to 33% for Venezuela and led 24-0 in points from the 3-point range.

Craig Sword had 12 points for the USA in the first half and 11 of the 12 Americans had scored when play was stopped.