USA-Venezuela match at AmeriCop postponed after rain in gymnasium

RECIFE, BRAZIL — The NBA was expected to win Sunday’s AmeriCup and was on track to do so.

That is, until it rains.

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

Several hours after the match was halted, the International Basketball Federation said the match “has been postponed due to technical difficulties in the arena. The decision of the match will be announced in the coming hours, as the date and the time of the postponement will be announced.

Matches between Venezuela and the United States in the group stage are scheduled for Monday.

The International Basketball Federation authorized a subsequent game on Sunday in the same arena, and it went off without a hitch. The Dominican Republic beat the Virgin Islands 77-58, and a late game between Argentina and Puerto Rico was still on track to go as planned.

Venezuela’s match is crucial for the United States, which went 0-1 in Sunday’s Group C game after falling to Mexico in Friday’s opener. The Americans will need at least one win in their three group matches, and possibly two, to reach the quarter-finals from the end of the week.

Mexico (2-0) clinched the quarter-final spot earlier on Sunday with Panama in the lead (0-2).

The Americans gave up the first basket of the game, then went in the round 18-2 and continued. USA shot 56% in the first half to Venezuela’s 33% and trailed 24-0 with points from 3-point range.

Craig Sword had 12 points in the first half for the United States, and 11 of 12 Americans had scored by the time play was stopped.