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International Sports: Eurobasket, Afrobasket, World Cup Qualifying

All about international sport today.

Olympics: Basketball-Men's Team-Bronze medal match -AUS vs ESP USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. It’s an international sports Cup of Canis.

I am watching Latvia vs. Russia as I write this. Unfortunately, Kristaps Porzingis is in foul trouble in the first half, and Russia, who has started this tournament very strong, has a double-digit lead. Alexey Shved has been great for Russia, though is not scoring much so far today.

Spain, however, has been the best team in the field so far, and they tip off at 9:45 CDT against the other quality team in their group, Croatia. Spain has looked very deep and powerful, led by the Gasol brothers and the point guard tandem of Ricky Rubio and Sergio Rodriguez.

Meanwhile if you missed it, the U.S. won the FIBA Americup tournament with a huge comeback against Argentina in the gold medal game. The team was made up of G-League players and coached by Jeff Van Gundy. Jameel Warney won the MVP award.

Although it was required that the U.S. play in this tournament, it is not actually part of the qualifying process for the World Cup in 2019. Unlike in past years, the U.S. does not gain automatic qualification to major international tournaments thanks to previous results, but will instead have to qualify through a process that will take place beginning in November and stretching into 2019.

It’s a two-step process in which they will play home-and-away games against the three other teams in their group—Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The top three finishers in each of four groups will advance to the second round, in which two groups of six one again play home-and-away matches. The top three finishers in each second round group, as well as the top 4th place finisher, will qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

Elsewhere, a reminder that Afrobasket begins on Friday, and Senegal (Gorgui Dieng’s home country) is one of the hosts, along with Tunisia. Dieng is a big star on the Senegalese team, and they will be looking to medal. In 2015, they finished 4th after losing in overtime in the semifinals to the eventual champions Nigeria. Dieng led the tournament in scoring and rebounding averaging 23 and 15. He’ll be looking to dominate again at this tournament, and also be hoping for a better team result.

Moving away from hoops, a reminder that the USMNT is in Honduras this afternoon for a crucial World Cup qualifier. After their abysmal performance in the home loss to Costa Rica on Friday night, getting a result today is even more imperative. They hammered Honduras 6-0 in the home leg, but things will be much tougher on the road.

It kicks off at 4:30 CDT this afternoon as the Hondurans look to take advantage of hot conditions.

All of this talk about international sports and terrific athletes from around the world has reminded me: Save DACA. This program is the least we can do to show humanity, and so of course it’s being threatened by this abject misery of an administration. It’s a program that allows children who were brought here as illegal immigrants to stay, and it has positively affected hundreds of thousands of lives. For many DREAMERS, the U.S. is the only home they’ve ever known. Sending them back underground serves no purpose and is merely an exercise in humiliation, power, and bullying.

/Off soapbox.

Have a good Tuesday.