Nigeria’s men’s basketball team has made history for being the first to represent Nigeria in the Olympics! Nigeria beat out The Dominican Republic in what many are calling an upset since the DR reportedly has a better team and coach.
SB Nation reports– In a surprising upset, Nigeria earned the final spot in the men’s basketball field in the Olympics with an 88-73 victory over the Dominican Republic on Sunday night.
It was a do-or-die game for both teams, the third-place game in a tournament that sends the top-three teams to London.
Very few people had Nigeria penciled in to even make it this far, as Nigeria is making its first-ever Olympic berth in basketball. 2012 is the first year that two African teams have made the Olympics.
The Nigerians were able to overcome the heavily favored Dominicans, who were coached by John Calipari and featured Atlanta Hawks All-Star Al Horford, primarily on the strength of their front line.
Ike Diogu, a five-year NBA veteran who appeared in only two games last season, was dominant, with a 25/10 double-double, including a few back-breaking threes late in the fourth quarter. He was aided by Al-Farouq Aminu, a raw but extremely athletic young forward for the New Orleans Hornets who battled Horford to a draw for most of the game.
Nigeria will probably be just as a big an underdog in London as they were in Caracas, but the size of Aminu and Diogu give them a chance to make some noise.