LUBLIN, POLAND—The USA Men's Deaf National Basketball team had its hands full for three quarters in an evenly-matched game against Greece before slowly pulling away in the fourth quarter. In the fourth stanza, the Americans allowed just four points over a ten-minute span, at one point going off on an 8-0 run.
Greece displayed defensive fortitude, preventing the Americans from finding rhythm on offense and limited scoring opportunities. Shooting guard Noah Valencia led the stars and stripes with 29 point, several of which came during critical junctures. Michael Lizarraga, the 6'-7" American power forward played a dominant all-around game and posted a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Lizarraga added three timely block, thwarting any comeback attempt by Greece and empathically making his presence felt around the rim.
For the Americans, defense proved key as they allowed only 8 points in the final quarter. 6'-7" Patrick Danen helped clear the glass with 7 rebounds to minimize second-chance points. The Americans look to continue to improve its chemistry tonight against U-21 World Deaf Basketball Championship runner-up Japan at 4:00pm Central European Time (10am EST).