Breaking: Nigeria beat USA in basketball friendly

Point guard, Gabe Vincent, Caleb Agada and forward Precious Achiuwa were the stars for the Nigerian team.

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Tokyo Olympics 2020. (File Photo: IANS)

Nigeria defeated the United States men’s basketball team 90-87 in their first tune-up game ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

Point guard, Gabe Vincent, Caleb Agada and forward Precious Achiuwa were the stars for the Nigerian team.

Nigeria converted 22 three-point throws in the game. It was the country’s first win over the No. 1 ranked nation in the world.

The game offered Nigeria’s coach Mike Brown an opportunity to prune his 15-man squad down to 12 players for the Games.

He is expected to announce his final squad on July 17, before the team’s departure to Kizarazu city in Japan two days later for the Pre-Games training camp, before moving into the Olympics Village.

D’Tigers will play Italy, Germany and Australia in Tokyo.

The upcoming Olympic Games will be the Nigerians’ third straight appearance in the history of the eagerly-awaited tournament.

They made their debut at the London 2012 Games before making it to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

The basketball tournament at Tokyo 2020 starts on July 25 with Nigeria taking on Australia in their opening game at the Saitama Super Arena.

They will face Germany three days later at the same venue, before their last game against Italy.

No African country has ever won a medal in the Olympic Games in men’s basketball or advanced past the preliminary stage, but Brown, who is also the Golden State Warriors associate head coach, believes Nigeria has the potential to make history.

“There are more players of Nigerian descent in the NBA than probably any other country besides the US,” Brown, who became Nigeria’s coach in February 2020, said.

“And so the talent is there. It’s just about getting everybody organised and on the same page and getting everybody excited about playing and wanting to be a part.

“We are looking forward to mixing some of that NBA talents with some very talented individuals that are playing professionally in Europe and abroad.”

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