Nigeria’s male basketball team suffered a 110-66 bashing in the hands of USA basketball team in a Pre-Olympic basketball victory last night.
The USA, gunning for their third straight Olympic basketball gold medal, wrapped up their pre-Summer Games exhibition series with a dominating win over world number 25 Nigeria.
The Americans now boasts of five straight wins, but just one came against an opponent ranked in the top 10 in the world. They easily beat No. 4 Argentina, No. 14 China twice and rolled over No. 22 Venezuela by 35 points.
“We played good defense and it led to some fast breaks,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Our team is very deep. The most versatile team we have had.”
Despite the absence of NBA stars LeBron James and Stephen Curry, Krzyzewski’s squad is favored to win a third consecutive gold.
A half-dozen Americans finished in double figures Monday, including Carmelo Anthony, who tallied a team high 19 points.
Klay Thompson (17), Kevin Durant (14), DeMar DeRozan (13), DeMarcus Cousins (10) and DeAndre Jordan (10) also finished in double figures. Kyle Lowry had 11 assists and Jordan grabbed nine rebounds in the victory at the Toyota Center arena in Houston, Texas.
“It was good way to close it out. Now the big show starts and we got to lock in,” Anthony said.
He also complained about the basketball they are going to using during the Rio Games, saying he prefers the heavier NBA ball.
“It is lighter and more slippery,” Anthony said. “When it gets wet it is harder to control. That’s a ball you really have to get used to.”
Point guard Kyrie Irving (bruised left thigh) and Paul George (left calf) sat out with injuries on Monday. Irving injured his thigh when he collided with a Venezuela player during Friday’s contest in Chicago.
In a related event, the Dream Team VI were only able to train once at the Georgia Soccer Park in Atlanta before flying out to Brazil today.
Unconfirmed tweets by the Media Officer of the team, Timi Ebikagboro, suggest that the Samson Siasia-led side cancelled Sunday’s workout because of the unfavourable weather conditions.
Ahead of the clash against Japan in the Amazonian city of Manaus, the Nigerian squad have trained only once in the last four days, having missed training on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
The squad had been expected to train on Saturday but skipped the workout as none of the foreign-based professionals agreed to pick up the tab for hiring a bus to take the team to the training ground.
Players and officials had been expected to fly out to Rio on Friday, July 29 but remain stranded in the United States.
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