Patty Mills drops 25 points as the Australian Men’s Basketball team makes it back to back victories against D’Tigers of Nigeria, as they begin their Tokyo Campaign with an impressive 84-67 win.
The D’Tigers had a day to forget from the FT line shooting 50%, 12/24, compared to 89% converted by the Boomers. Obi Emegano leads the Nigerian team with 12 points, scoring 11 of them in the first-half. Jordan Nwora had a quick spark in the 3rd quarter dropping 7 points in quick succession, in the end he scored 10 points same with Precious Achiuwa.
Joe Ingles and Dante Exum combined for 22 points, as the Aussies began their journey to get their first Olympics medal in Basketball for the first time in their history.
Both teams had 46 turnovers combined with Australia contributing 22 of their own.
The Boomers did all they could on their defence on which they are originally good at, while the offence mustered what was necessary to pull away late and get over the line.
STRANGE PERCENTAGE FROM BEYOND THE ARC
It will be recalled that Nigeria stunned both USA and Argentina in a pre-olympics exhibition game, but that proved to be gone, as they couldn’t replicate that performance against the Boomers, who have defeated them twice. Against the USA, Nigeria scored 20 3’s out of 40 attempts and shot 50%. On Sunday morning against Australia, Nigeria managed 7/24, a shambolic 29%.
Australia had their own fears too, but they overcame those offensive concerns by shooting a respectable 46 per cent from deep.
Going ahead they (Nigeria) have to make adjustments to that, their next two opponents Germany and Italy both had a nice time attempting 3’s in the first game played earlier. Germany shot 15/32 while Italy dropped 15/31.
POOR FREE THROWS & TOO MUCH TO’s
Even an average Basketball fan can point out the struggles the D’Tigers had from the Free-throw line. It all started when Caleb Agada and KZ Okpala both missed a pair FTs. Nigeria were 12/24 from the FT line shooting 50%.
It affected the confidence of the team, subsequently in the game. Buffoon FT’s and too many TO’s was the only reason why Nigeria fell to the Boomers by that kind of margin.
Now, while Nigeria were having a terrible day shooting free throws, Australia ironically were having it all smooth as they shot 89% in the end. That was the difference.
Many Nigerians who saw the game, can attest to the fact that D’Tigers gave Australian problems defensively. Nigeria, a unit filled with NBA talent has built a system of long, multi-dimensional athletes who make things hard for the opposition on defence and push the pace on offence.
And they certainly made life difficult for the Australians forcing them to make 11 TO’s.
It was only in the fourth quarter, with the Nigerian offence stuck in the mud, that Australia was able to put some distance between themselves and their African rivals.
Next up, Nigeria will face Germany, who lost to Italy earlier on Sunday.
NIGERIA VS AUSTRALIA HIGHLIGHTS: