Regis Jesuit graduate Fran Belibi and the USA U19 World Cup women’s basketball team finished 3-0 in pool play and won its championship round opener at the 2019 FIBA Women’s U19 World Cup tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Americans defeated Australia (79-56), South Korea (89-67) and Hungary (95-50) in preliminary play July 20-23 to join other group winners Latvia (Group A), Belgium (Group B) and Spain (Group D) with prime position going into the championship portion of the tournament, which began July 24 and runs through July 28. The USA downed Germany 79-61 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Playing in a reserve role, Belibi scored two points and had five rebounds against Australia, but exploded for a team-high 18 points (on 8-for-8 shooting) to go with a handful of rebounds against South Korea. The Stanford signee added a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds against Hungary and went for eight points and eight boards against Germany.
Through four games, Belibi is second in rebounding (7.8 rpg) and just a shade off a double-digit scoring average (9.8 ppg) for the USA U19 team, which faces Canada (3-1) July 26 with a spot in the semifinals the next day on the line.
The tournament concludes two days later.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports