In the realm of the FIBA World Cup 2023, Italy emerged as a remarkable dark horse. They defied a multitude of odds and ventured into the Quarter Finals, where they collided with the traditional powerhouse, the United States of America. Despite being hailed as the ‘Supreme Italian Contingent’ in history, their voyage took a tragic turn, and it was orchestrated by a singular individual – the luminary of the Brooklyn Nets, Mikal Bridges.
While Brides’ contributions remained incognito throughout the initial stages, he metamorphosed into an influential force during the Quarter Finals. It was his solitary brilliance that steered his team towards a resounding triumph.
The United States of America had been dealt a severe blow by Lithuania in the second phase, yet they were determined to stage a comeback, and they did so with finesse. Right from the outset of their Quarter Finals showdown with Italy, the USA exhibited dominance. They established a commanding 24-14 lead in the opening quarter and never relinquished their grip on the game. Bridges, donned in the United States of America jersey, delivered a performance for the ages. The 27-year-old phenom orchestrated 24 points, 2 assists, and 6 rebounds, propelling the USA into the Semi-Finals. Italy, in turn, endured a crushing 63-100 defeat at the hands of the perennial titans.
Aside from the virtuoso Mikal Bridges, the All-Star Tyrese Haliburton distinguished himself with an outstanding performance off the bench. He tallied 18 points, secured 4 rebounds, and orchestrated 5 assists. Furthermore, the burgeoning talent of the Los Angeles Lakers, Austin Reaves, contributed 12 points as a reserve.