Nigeria Stuns USA in a Basketball Exhibition Game against the 2021 Olympics Tournament
Team Nigeria dished out one of the greatest upsets in international basketball history when they stunningly defeated team USA 90-87 in an exhibition game in Las Vegas on Saturday night. With this superb win, Nigeria now becomes the first African country to have ever defeated the USA basketball team in history.
Team USA had previously defeated the team Nigeria twice on two different occasions before – they beat Nigeria 156-73 at the 2012 Olympics 9years ago and also they also had the team Nigeria beaten 110-66 in an exhibition game 5years ago.
Also, the American team has never lost a single match in their last three Olympics campaigns (including Olympics warm-up games) and they have also been 54-2 in major exhibition games since NBA players started playing for USA Basketball in 1992.
The D’tigers featured six NBA players against team USA. They were just playing their first exhibition game before the Olympics kick-starts and they also had a former NBA head coach in Mike Brown at the helm too. What Brown said after the match: “At the end of the day, it doesn’t mean much in the standings as far as where we’re trying to get to.”
He added by saying, “But it’s a good win for us. I don’t think any African team has been able to beat USA Basketball in an exhibition game or a real game … We’re trying to get a little bit of momentum for Nigeria and for the continent of Africa.”
The Americans, on the other end, started the tie with five NBA players in the likes of Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant and Bam Adebayo but failed to match up with team Nigeria that was exquisitely a joy to watch in their physical defence approach and 3-point shooting.
Team USA coach Gregg Popovich hopes this shocking defeat of theirs to the D’tigers only becomes a wake-up call for them against their subsequent matches coming up: “In a way, I’m kind of glad it happened. It means nothing if we don’t learn from it. It could be the most important thing in this tournament for us. To learn lessons from this.”
He further added by giving credit to team Nigeria for their sensational performance against them: “I thought that the Nigerian team played very physically, did a great job in that regard and knocked down a lot of 3s.”
Next up for the team, Nigeria is a match against the Argentines in Las Vegas on Monday as the Americans also face the Australians in Las Vegas on Monday too.