Like they say ‘everything that has a beginning has an end’, but this was not the kind of ending D’Tigers of Nigeria and its fans wanted, as Australian Men’s Basketball team handed the Nigerian national team some reality check, with a comprehensive victory.
After wins against the best basketball playing team in the world, USA and World number 4 Argentina, the Aussies were gently waiting to halt D’Tigers momentum, and they did that in an emphatic fashion, beating them 108-69.
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.
Josh Okogie and Obi Emegano combined for 20 points, as Jahlil Okafor followed his 15 points game against Argentina with 7 points against Australia. Nigeria struggled to defend almost all of Australia’s, giving them too many spaces to score. The latter were solid from both ends, gave Nigeria little chance to shoot comfortably from the 3-point range, and closing down attempts to get lay-ups.
D’Tigers seem to have announced themselves to the world already, next up is to build on that momentum going to Tokyo.
After the game Goulding said they were aware of the threat the Nigerian national team brings into the game so they came prepared.
“We were lucky to get in from the jump defensively. We have seen how they played in their last two games, a very talented team.”
The Australian team came close to clinching a Bronze Medal in 2016 Rio Olympics, but missed out by a whisker. Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Goulding said getting a Gold medal means everything to them.
“It is everything to us, we have been at this for a long time, we are focused, we’ve got one goal, and that will be to try and win a Gold Medal.”
Nigeria will now shift attention to the Olympics proper, as they have wrapped up friendlies, finishing with 2/1 record.