- Category: Latest
- Published on Monday, 30 July 2012 14:31
- Written by Elombah.com
LONDON – The U.S. Men’s Senior National Team wasn’t the only crew to walk away from the first day of Olympic competition with an impressive win, theirs coming in a 98-71 thumping of France in the third game of the day. Nigeria's Ike Diogu also led Nigeria over Tunisia for first-ever win at Games.
Al-Farouq Aminu had 15 points to help Nigeria hold off a second-half rally by Tunisia in the first game of the men's Olympic basketball tournament Sunday with a 60-56 victory.
Nigeria, the last team to qualify for the 12-team tournament, held Tunisia to 15 points in the first half and held a 16-point halftime lead. They led by as many as 19 and seemed in control of the game.
Tunisia, however, began the second half with a 10-2 run and closed the gap to two points late in the game.
But Aminu, who plays for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets, made of one of two free throws to seal the victory with 11 seconds remaining.
Amine Rzig scored 15 of his 18 points in the second-half to lead Tunisia in the Group A game that was the Olympic debut for both teams in men's basketball.
A dunk by Makram Ben Romdhane, a jumper by Mehdi Hafsi, a fast break by Rzig and a 3-pointer by Marouan Kechrid made it a five-point game in the fourth quarter.
When Rzig sank another 3-pointer with 4:20 left, Nigeria led by only two.
Tunisia, the African champion, came within two again with 51 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Mourad El Mabrouk.
Derrick Obasohan hit two free throws then for Nigeria before a layup by Ben Romdhane brought Tunisia again within two.
But Obasohan then made one of two free throws, Tunisia could not score and Aminu sealed the match with another free throw.
Ike Diougu had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Nigeria.
Ben Romdhane also had a double-double, finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Kechrid added 12 points for Tunisia
A quick round-up of the action …
NIGERIA 60, TUNISIA 56:
The Aminu brothers, Alade and Al-Farouq combined for 25 points and 18 rebounds as Nigeria, the last team to qualify for this 12-team field, held off a late rally from the African champions in the first game of the day. Ike Diogu added 13 points and 10 rebounds. Amine Rzig scored 15 of his 18 points in the second-half to lead Tunisia in what was the Olympic debut for both teams.
BRAZIL 75, AUSTRALIA 71:
Leandro Barbosa scored 16 points but it was his backcourt mate, Brazilian captain Marcelo Huertas, who played the hero as they held off a late push from Australia on two free throws from Huertas with five seconds to play. David Andersen scored all 14 of his points after halftime and Patty Mills led Australia with a game-high 20 points, but it wasn’t enough.
SPAIN 97, CHINA 81:
Pau Gasol was dominant, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points, as the silver medalists and two-time European champs whipped China. Yi Jianlian was impressive in defeat, scoring a game-high 30 points for China, which had no answer for Spain’s depth and quality backcourt duo of Juan Carlos Navarro (14 points) and Jose Calderon (12).
RUSSIA 95, GREAT BRITAIN 75:
The gracious hosts were no match for the Minnesota Timberwolves-bound duo of Andrei Kirilenko (35 points) and Alexey Shved (16 points and 13 assists, who sparked Russia’s dominating performance. Luol Deng scored the first basket of the game, the first for the British in the Olympics since 1948, and finished with 26 points. But he and Pops Mensah-Bonsu (22) couldn’t help the home team overcome Russia or an ugly 4-for-26 effort from beyond the 3-point line.
ARGENTINA 102, LITHUANIA 79:
Luis Scola scored 32 points, Manu Ginobili finished with 21, 10 rebounds and six assists and Carlos Delfino added 20 points for the 2004 gold medalists, who struggled in their exhibition run-up to this competition but celebrated Ginobili’s 35th birthday in style. Linas Kleiza scored 20 points to lead Lithuania, which defeated Argentina in the opener for both teams four years ago in Beijing.