Sunday, November 28, 2021

Olympics-Basketball-U.S. women on path for 7th straight gold after drubbing Serbia in semis

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By Rocky Swift

SAITAMA (Reuters) – Team USA continued their march toward a seventh-straight gold medal in Olympic women’s basketball on Friday, handily dispatching Serbia in their semifinal match.

Following the U.S. men’s resounding win in the semis on Thursday, the American women leapt into the finals with a 79-59 drubbing of Serbia at the Saitama Super Arena, north of Tokyo.

Britney Griner had a double double, leading the team with 15 points and 12 rebounds, but she wasn’t concerned about personal stats.

“When you look back at the games, you don’t really remember who did what, what did what, who had how many points,” said Griner, who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and was on the Olympic championship team of 2016. “You just remember having fun with everybody and just getting gold.”

Team USA, packed with WNBA talent, will go for that gold on Sunday against the winner of a playoff between the French women’s team and host nation Japan, making their first ever appearance in the Olympic semifinals.

The U.S. women have been even more dominant at Olympic basketball than the men’s team, with eight gold medals since 1976. Their victory on Friday was their 54th straight win at the Games.

Serbia, the reigning EuroBasket champions, will play in the bronze medal match on Saturday. They took bronze in their Olympics debut in 2016.

“You see how much talent they have. I mean those are the best players in the world,” Serbian team captain Jalena Brooks said of Team USA. “We just have to do our game, and we are going to do everything to get a bronze medal.”

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Hugh Lawson)


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