The Quarter-Finals featured teams like Germany, Spain, Italy & Argentina coming up short.
All four clubs were able to earn a win or more out at the Tokyo Olympics.
Results: Loss vs. Italy 92-82, Win vs. Nigeria 99-92, Loss vs. Australia 89-76, Loss vs. Slovenia 94-70 (Quarter-Final)
Thanks to Moritz Wagner’s 28 points in the Olympic qualifying final vs. Brazil, Germany earned a well deserved spot out in Tokyo. The German national team went 1-3 and were very much alive in every loss, but couldn’t hold on in the 2nd half to complete wins. Maodo Lo put up an efficient 13.5 PPG and 5.0 APG. However, not having Dennis Schroder hurt at times when they needed baskets to stay in games.
Despite Isaac Bonga’s great defensive effort throughout the tournament, Germany also didn’t have the versatility on defense to hang with other team’s top guys. They only let up under 90 points in one game, as players like Zoran Dragic, Simone Fontecchio and Patty Mills went off from three point range against the Germans. Chemistry on both ends was there for Germany, but another scorer and defender was clearly needed at the Olympics.
Results: Win vs. Japan 88-77, Win vs. Argentina 81-71, Loss vs. Slovenia 95-87, Loss vs. USA 95-81 (Quarter-Final)
Spain’s national team started off the Tokyo Olympics by going 2-0, as point guard Ricky Rubio averaged 23 PPG and 6.5 APG in the two wins. Spain would go up against Slovenia & USA in the next two games and had their moments to take control, but the clubs they played were just too youthful and loaded offensively to keep up with.
Spain definitely had the big men to compete with Slovenia and the United States, but they didn’t have many versatile defenders besides new Houston Rockets rookie Usman Garuba. Rubio’s amazing Olympic run would continue until they were knocked out, scoring 38 points vs. USA in the Quarter-Finals. And we can’t forget about the Gasol brothers, who recently retired from international play with Spain after tremendous national team careers.
Results: Win vs Germany 92-82, Loss vs. Australia 86-83, Win vs. Nigeria 80-71, Loss vs. France 84-75 (Quarter-Final)
Right from the start of the Olympic qualifying tournament, Italy’s togetherness stood out and eventually resulted in an upset win over Serbia in the finals. Nico Mannion, Simone Fontecchio and Achille Polonara led the way with their great shot selection on offense. The Italian’s shooting and ball movement were top notch, bringing those same abilities to Tokyo by going 2-2 in a successful run that saw Danilo Gallinari return from the Atlanta Hawks after missing the qualifiers.
Coach Meo Sacchetti’s squad arguably played the best out of any team knocked out so far in Tokyo. Italy had two impressive wins over Germany & Nigeria, a three point loss to undefeated Australia, and a hard fought nine point loss to France in the Quarter-Finals. Although, improvements can always be made for the future and the Italians learned that not having a skilled big man in the post hurt them, as Rudy Gobert went for 22 points and 9 rebounds on 10 of 13 from the field in a knockout winning effort.
Results: Loss vs. Slovenia 118-100, Loss vs. Spain 81-71, Win vs. Japan 97-77, Loss vs. Australia 97-59 (Quarter-Final)
After struggling in their pre-olympic exhibition session in Las Vegas, it was going to take a lot from Argentina to come up with wins at this year’s Olympics. Well known names like Luis Scola, Facundo Campazzo, Nicolas Laprovittola, and Gabriel Deck played hard, but the club was matched up with solid teams that simply had more weapons. All three of Argentina’s losses were double digit defeats, as their only victory came against a winless Japan team.
The Tokyo Olympics saw legends like the Gasol brothers of Spain and Hamed Haddadi of Iran get well deserved support from their home countries, but 41-year-old Luis Scola certainly deserves the biggest round of applause. Scola averaged 16.5 PPG & 5.0 RPG on 42.1% from three point range, making it hard to believe the big man is 40 plus years old. And even though Scola proved he still knows how to play this game at a high level, the legend said that this was his last Olympic appearance and now is the ‘time for new faces to show up’ on Argentina’s national team.