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    Wednesday, July 14, 2021

    D’Tigers Fall Against Australia

    D’Tigers have suffered a crushing 108-69 defeat to Australia in their last tune-up game ahead of Tokyo Olympics.

    It was a reality check for the high-flying Nigerians after earning historic victories over Team USA and Argentina in recent days.

    On Wednesday, they were completely mauled by the Boomers, who fielded a second fiddle side to hold their card to chest ahead of the Olympics.

    The game started with the D’Tigers paying tribute to the late Sound Sultan, who died on Sunday, and quickly spiral out of their hands as the Australians raced to a fast 10-4 lead in a blink of an eye.

    The resilient Australians, who defeated Team USA less than 24 hours prior, manifested unmatched brilliance and established a 13-point lead as they ended the first quarter 26-13.

    Speaking after the first quarter, Mike Brown, D’Tigers head coach, called on his boys to intensify their defending if they were going to have a chance against the third-ranked nation in the world.

    “Truth is we’re not defending. You got to give the Australians credit. They are one of the top ten teams in the world,” he said.

    “They know they are good. And we’re not. We are still trying to find our identity. We thought we are going to walk in here and take it to these guys, but we can’t.

    “And if we don’t defend, we are going be in trouble, not only tonight but at Olympic time.”

    However, his boys couldn’t keep it tight, and the Boomers continued their dominance, with the second quarter ending with a comfortable 20-point lead – 49-29.

    The margin increased to a 38-point lead to end the third quarter at 84-46, before the game eventually finished 108-69 with the D’Tigers thoroughly trounced.

    Obi Emegano and Josh Okogie led Nigeria with 10 points apiece, followed by Jahlil Okafor, who hit seven points and five rebounds alongside Ike Iroegbu, who also scored the same number of points.

    Chris Goulding led Australia with 21 points, three rebounds, and four steals.

    The loss is D’Tigers’ first since Brown took over the team in 2020.

    The coach is expected to reveal his final 12-man list before finally departing for Tokyo on July 17.

    Nigeria will be hoping for a far better result when they face the Boomers in their first game at the Olympics on July 25.

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