The Australian Boomers and France tipped-off the men’s tournament in Rio with the question being: who will be able to give the USA a challenge as they bid for a hat-trick of Olympic gold medals.
Group B games begin tomorrow.
BOOMERS SEND CLEAR MESSAGE IN FRANCE ROUT
Australia stunned the basketball community with an impressive and comfortable 87-66 win over France in the opening game of the men’s tournament in Rio.
After qualification from the Olympic Qualifiers in Manila, many experts believed that France, along with Spain would be the two closest challengers to the USA’s crown but the Boomers exploded into life in the third quarter and at the start of the final period to enjoy a 67-48 cushion and give Les Bleus no hopes of a comeback.
Patty Mills, facing off against San Antonio team-mate Tony Parker, led the Aussies with 21 points. Andrew Bogut added 18.
USA MAKE LIGHT WORK OF CHINA
Midway through the second quarter, the crowd inside the Carioca Arena began a Mexican Wave to entertain themselves. The USA had already won the game and it was a case of by how many.
The answer was 57 points as the USA eased to a 119-62 win over China in what was at times incredibly sloppy with certain plays reminiscent of what you would see on a street ball court, but that was when the U.S. had the match won.
Kevin Durant led the USA with 25 points.
SERBIA USE SECOND QUARTER TO BREEZE PAST VENEZUELA
Serbia outscored Venezuela 26-9 in the second quarter, en route to a comfortable 86-62 win in their Olympic opener that closed proceedings in day one.
The South Americans were competitive to begin with, and the game was tied at 14-14 late in the first, but Serbia hit their stride, scoring the final four points before upping the ante in the following period.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led Serbia with 19 points, but the second quarter spurt was heavily influenced by EA7 Milano newcomer Miroslav Raduljica, who added 18.