The match-up serves as one of many tune-up video games organized by the Nigeria Basketball Federation for the crew as they put together for the 2020 Olympics the place they’ll face Australia, Germany, and Italy in Group B.
Level guard Gabe Vincent, Caleb Agada, and ahead Treasured Achiuwa impressed within the encounter. Achiuwa had maybe the evening’s high defensive play with 1:23 left within the first half, reaching along with his left hand to dam a Kevin Durant dunk try.
Nigeria transformed 20 three-point throws from 42 makes an attempt within the sport with six of the 20 coming from Miami Warmth guard Gabe Vincent who led the boys in inexperienced in scoring with 21 factors, 4 assists, and two rebounds.
Caleb Agada had 17 factors, three rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes whereas Ike Nwamu completed the sport with 13 factors, seven rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes. Ike Ireogbu additionally impressed within the encounter scoring 11 factors.
Kevin Durant led the U.S. with 17 factors, Jayson Tatum added 15 and Damian Lillard scored 14 factors and Bam Adebayo 11 in a disappointing outing for the reigning Olympic champions.
Reacting to the win, Vincent hailed the the affect of the crew’s head coach Mike Brown on the squad.
“Mike’s accomplished an incredible job with us to this point,” Vincent stated after the sport. “We’ve had an incredible camp to this point. We needed to construct a brand new tradition, begin from the bottom up, new performs, new every thing. We’ve obtained a variety of new guys in.
“It’s totally different if you’re taking part in for a rustic. Proper now we’re representing the continent. It means the world to us and I hope we confirmed it right here tonight.
“It’s simply all of the work we put in, It’s no mistake what occurred right here tonight.
“We knew what it was. We’ve all seen them play on the highest degree and make large photographs. We knew what got here with that and we simply needed to make performs.”
The sport provided Nigeria’s coach Mike Brown a possibility to prune his 15-man squad right down to 12 gamers for the Video games.
He’s anticipated to announce his last squad on July 17, earlier than the crew’s departure to Kizarazu metropolis in Japan two days later for the Pre-Video games coaching camp, earlier than shifting into the Olympics Village.
D’Tigers will play Italy, Germany and Australia in Tokyo.
The upcoming Olympic Video games would be the Nigerians’ third straight look within the historical past of the eagerly-awaited match.
They made their debut on the London 2012 Video games earlier than making it to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
The basketball match at Tokyo 2020 begins on July 25 with Nigeria taking over Australia of their opening sport on the Saitama Tremendous Area.
They’ll face Germany three days later on the similar venue, earlier than their final sport in opposition to Italy.
No African nation has ever received a medal within the Olympic Video games in males’s basketball or superior previous the preliminary stage, however Brown, who can also be the Golden State Warriors affiliate head coach, believes Nigeria has the potential to make historical past.
“There are extra gamers of Nigerian descent within the NBA than in all probability another nation apart from the US,” Brown, who turned Nigeria’s coach in February 2020, stated.
“And so the expertise is there. It’s nearly getting everyone organised and on the identical web page and getting everyone enthusiastic about taking part in and desirous to be an element.
“We’re trying ahead to mixing a few of that NBA abilities with some very gifted people which can be taking part in professionally in Europe and overseas.”