US Basketball coach, Gregg Popovich, has claimed the surprise loss to Nigeria’s D’Tigers in a pre-Tokyo 2020 exhibition match yesterday could be a blessing in disguise as his side seek a seventh gold medal at the quadrennial games.
Nigeria ran out 90-87 winners in Las Vegas to cause one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport to condemn the Americans to their first defeat to an African nation.
However, “I thought that the Nigerian team played very physically, did a great job in that regard, and knocked down a lot of 3s,” Popovich acknowledged the quality of the Mike Brown-tutored D’Tigers. “Give them credit.
“That’s a talented group of players. It’s not a bunch of people off the street playing basketball.
“Every year, teams are better and better, and every year, one or two or three more NBA players are on their teams, so they’re a quality team.”
The Nation reports that the star-studded American team had beaten Nigeria 156-73 at the 2012 Olympics in London before recording a 110-66 win over the African side in an exhibition prior to Rio 2016.
Nigeria, led by NBA side Golden Warriors’ coach Mike Brown, were in superb scoring form as they netted 20 three-pointers on their way to the upset victory.
Gabe Vincent of Miami Heat in the NBA led Nigeria with 21 points (6 of 8 on 3-pointers) believes the team is made up of new and hungry young men hoping to represent the continent at Tokyo.
“Mike’s done a great job with us so far,” Vincent said. “We’ve had a great camp so far. We had to build a new culture, start from the ground up, new plays, new everything. We’ve got a lot of new guys in.
“It’s different when you’re playing for a country. Right now we’re representing the continent. It means the world to us and I hope we showed it here tonight.”
Nigeria will today in Las Vegas take on Argentina in another warm-up match.
[VIDEO]BBNaija: Liquorose gets jealous anytime Emmanuel comes close to me – Beatrice
JUST IN: Police IG suspends Abba Kyari, sets up panel to investigate allegation
One shot, three vehicles razed as Ogun community clash with Customs officers
China police arrest Canadian pop star Kris Wu over rape allegation
APC‘II soon take over South-East – Nnamani
Nigerian refineries lose N104.3b in 13 months
She was someone who looked out for others, Oga Bello, Jide Kosoko, others mourn Rachel Oniga
PHOTOS: Yusuf Buhari, Zahra Bayero’s pre-wedding festivities begin with polo tournament
Sound Sultan: 18 things to know about throat cancer
Court acquits ex-NBA President of N1.4bn fraud charge
Meet Igbo lady with Yoruba facial marks who was told will die if she looked in the mirror
VIDEO: DSS parades 13 suspects, recovered arms from Sunday Igboho’s residence
Igboho, Kanu: Who is naive now? BY Adekunle Ade-Adeleye
Expertise in household chores doesn’t make better wives – Blessing Okoro
FG planted guns in Sunday Igboho’s house – Deji Adeyanju
VOX POP: Who will win Euro 2020 – Nigerians react
VIDEO: Gani Adams rallies Benin Republic monarchs for Sunday Igboho
FIDIO: Ǹjẹ́ Gbogbo Akitiyan Ìjọba Láti Mú Ẹ̀yìn Olóyè Sunday Ìgbòho Balẹ̀ Yìí Tọ́ Àbí Kò Tọ́?
VIDEO: Pastor Tunde Bakare declares National Movement
VIDEO: CCTV footage of nine-year-old suspect setting Prince Ebeano supermarket in Abuja on fire
VIDEO: Bandits release 28 abducted students of Bethel Baptist High School
VIDEO: Ladipo Market traders clash with security operatives
VIDEO: I passed through a lot in Oman, assaulted, owed wages, drugged and deported – Funmilayo Fehintola
VIDEO: Angry indigene calls out road contractor over substandard road project in Edo
Metro23 hours ago
Human trafficking: We’ve rescued 100 South East victims in six months – NAPTIP
Sports23 hours ago
Anxiety as AFN awaits details on Okagbare’s doping rule violation
Entertainment23 hours ago
13 things to know about Racheal Oniga
Sports22 hours ago
Nigeria’s D’Tigers crashes out of Tokyo Olympics
Metro24 hours ago
Five men arrested for serially sodomising teenage boy in Katsina
Metro24 hours ago
US court to sentence Hushpuppi October
Entertainment22 hours ago
JUST IN: Rachael Oniga’s death not COVID-19 related – Family source
Entertainment20 hours ago
Hosting BBNaija show, dream come true – Ebuka Obi-Uchendu