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Russia, Lithuania, Nigeria round out Olympic basketball tournament

Jul 9, 2012, 2:24 AM EDT

Ike Diogu of Nigeria celebrates after de Getty Images

Finally, the Olympic basketball tournament field is set.

Nigeria — led by 25 points on 14 shots plus 10 boards Ike Diogu (he formerly of the Spurs, Clippers, Pacers, Kings, Blazers and Warriors) — earned the final spot in the tournament by knocking off the Dominican Republic in a third-place game in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela.

The night before Russia (by far the best team in the tournament) and Lithuania qualified with wins that sent the DR and Nigeria to the do-or-die game.

Nigeria was the better side most of the game — they were up 8 at the half and led most of the way — but the Dominican Republic never went away with Francisco Garcia who had 17 points.

The game was tied with less than six minutes left, but the Diogu hit two three pointers and Nigeria took control again. New Orleans’ Al-Farouq Aminu added 14 points and five blocks for Nigeria.

The Dominican Republic should have had the best player on the floor with the Hawks Al Horford, but he had just 12 points as foul trouble kept him in check.

So the field for London is set. The 12-team tournament starts July 29 with play in the two six-team groups (four from each advance to the knockout tournament). The groups are:

Group A: United States, France, Argentina, Tunisia, Lithuania, Nigeria.

Group B: Great Britain, Spain, Brazil, Australia, China, Russia.

  1. boilerup1869 - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Spell/Grammar check PLEASE!

    Every article on this site has at least one avoidable error.

  2. papichulo55 - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    The undersized Americans must hit the boards or they will be in a few surprisingly close games. Their on-the-ball defense will help from being exploited in the post. The international refs will not be handing out the obligatory superstar calls. The Americans had better be ready to BANG!

  3. icewinna0 - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    If the Americans play hard and with a will to win is their anybody who can stop them? LeBron and Kobe are some of the best players ever and our guys who barely made the team are Griffin, Harden, and Iguadala who are better than most of the guys on the opposing team. I think our bigs will manage to get enough boards.

  4. tomtravis76 - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    I watched the first half of DR v Nigeria, the announcers were so bad that it was funny. One play a guy from the DR makes a post move and gets the bucket, the camera then goes to a woman in the stands cheering, they say, al hortfords wife likes that move I bet she has seen many of Al’s moves. They try to get out of it by then saying in the backyard court. The camera keeps showing this woman and they keep commenting about her and eventually they say, you know we don’t actually know if that is Al Hortfords wife.

    Who is going to be doing the NBC broadcast for the basketball games in London?

  5. koloofai - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Kurt is useless.. Proof read

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