After USA, Argentina Heroics, Australia Cages Roaring D’Tigers In Olympic Friendly
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By Amaechi Agbo
After two high profile victories against World number 1 and 4 ranked USA and Argentina in pre-Olympic warm up matches, Nigeria’s D’Tigers were Wednesday handed a reality check as they lost to Boomers of Australia, bestchoicesports.com.ng can report
The Coach Mike Brown tutored side seemed to have lost ideas and steam as they were overran by the Australians by a score of 108 to 69.
Just a day after dealing with Team USA in convincing fashion, the Australian team made easy work of a hyped Nigeria outfit in a thumping 108-69 win.
The Boomers started dominating from the 1st quarter, leading by as many as 13 points, they took the momentum to the second-half scoring 26 points to Nigeria’s 16.
Chris Goulding for Australia did not loose-guard, scoring 100% 3’s 7/7 from the bench. All of his 21 points came from downtown, accompanying that with 4 assists and 3 rebounds.
The veteran savvy of Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and Aron Baynes was replaced by a young, athletic starting five as the Boomers chose to sit their stars, keeping their cards close to their chest against the D’Tigers, who will be in their group at the Tokyo Olympics.
Nigeria, filled with NBA talents, had rattled off impressive wins against the United States and Argentina, leaning on their athleticism and shooting, but were outplayed on Wednesday.
Nigeria had proved too much for Team USA and Argentina, running and gunning, and importantly winning the battle on the boards. Mike Brown’s team outrebounded the United States by 12 and the Argentinians by 18. Against Australia, they were bested on the glass, and every other facet of the game.
“For us tonight, we thought we were going to be able to walk in here and take it to these guys,” Brown said after one quarter against the Boomers.
“But these guys can play.”
The Boomers had a 49-29 lead at the break. And it only got worse after halftime, with any chance of a Nigerian second half comeback immediately put to bed as Landale and Exum sunk back-to-back threes to extend Australia’s lead to 26 points.
At times it felt like Australia, who are undefeated in Las Vegas as they prepare for the Olympics, couldn’t miss as they sunk 18 threes on just 29 attempts, while nullifying the Nigerians on the other end.
Nigeria had 90 points against the United States. They scored 94 against Argentina. The Australians, who tallied 10 steals and four blocks, held them to just 69 in a display that sent a statement to its rivals.
If we know what the past and current Boomers look like, this was a little peak at what they might become; long, multidimensional athletes — like Landale, Thybulle, Green, Exum and Giddey — giving Australia a new edge against Nigeria, who had looked unstoppable before they ran into the Goorjian’s team.
The Boomers will play their final exhibition game in Las Vegas in a rematch against Team USA on Saturday.
Nigeria, with two wins and a loss in their warm-up games will now shift attention to the Olympic Games which commences on Friday next week.
Nigeria will again face Australia on July 25 in the opening day of the Tokyo Olympics Basketball event. The match will hold at the
City, Arena, Tokyo.