Dominican Republic, Russia, Nigeria and Lithuania stay in the race - Jul 7, 2012
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Lithuania - Puerto Rico 76-72 Lithuania survived a battle for life from Puerto Rico to advance to the semifinal round of Olympic Qualifying Round. Lithuania will now take on Dominican Republic for the spot at the Olympic Games. Mantas Kalnietis (195-G-86, agency: Interperformances) and Linas Kleiza (203-F-85, college: Missouri) scored 14 points each to lead the Baltic team. Puerto Rico sent a strong message to their opponents in the opening quarter. They grabbed a 22:16 lead after ten minutes. Lithuania however gained control in the second quarter. The Europeans fired 24 points to deny the deficit. Lithuania posted a 40:38 halftime lead. The teams went neck and neck throughout the third quarter. Lithuania led by two points heading into the fourth frame 57:55. Kaukenas made it a 7-point game midway through the final period. Carlos Arroyo drilled two three-pointers to put Puerto Rico in front 68:67 with just over three minutes remaining. The lead changed hands for several times before Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76, college: Maryland) knocked down four points and Linas Kleiza added one more to help Lithuania escape with a narrow win at the end. Sarunas Jasikevicius scored 11 points, while Maciulis provided 10 points and 11 rebounds for the winners. Alexander Galindo (200-F-85, college: FIU) answered with 17 points for Puerto Rico. Jose Juan Barea and Carlos Arroyo had 13 points each in the loss.
Greece - Nigeria 79-80 Nigeria came up with the loudest sensation so far at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. After beating Lithuania in the preliminary round they knocked down Greece tonight to eliminate the Hellenes from the race for the ticket to London. Nigeria in the meantime are now one step away from the goal. Adeola Dagunduro (195-G-86, college: Nebraska) knocked down two free throws with three seconds left in regulation to seal the victory for the African team. The teams stayed neck and neck throughout the opening quarter. The scoreboard read 21:21 at the first break. But Greece pulled ahead in the second quarter. They took off to ensure a 42:30 halftime advantage. Nigeria cut the distance in the third term. The African team narrowed the gap at just 6-point mark at the final break 50:56. The fourth period turned into drama. Adeola Dagundro made it 75:72 for Nigeria with just over a minute to go. Ioannis Bourousis narrowed the gap and then put Greece in front 76:75. Adeola Dagundro drained a triple to make it 78:76 but Papanikolau responded with his own triple to ensure Greece 79:78 lead with 14 seconds to go. Adeola Dagundruo got fouled and sank two free throws to put Nigeria back in charge. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) had a chance to win the game for Greece but Derrick Obasohan blocked the shot and Nigeria celebrated a crucial win at the end. Ike Diogu (208-F/C-83, college: Arizona St.) stepped up with 17 points and 12 rebounds for Nigeria. Adeola Dagunduro knocked down 14 points in the victory. Vassilis Spanoulis answered with 25 points for Greece. Ioannis Bourousis had 18 points in the loss.
FYR Macedonia - Dominican Republic 76-86 Dominican Republic recovered from a slow start to knock down FYR Macedonia in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament quarterfinals. Francisco Garcia (201-F/G-81, college: Louisville) stepped up with 28 points to lead the winners as they would face Lithuania for a spot in the Olympic Games. It was all about FYR Macedonia in the opening quarter. The Europeans held Dominican Republic to 10 points in the first period to take a 13-point lead. The teams exchanged baskets throughout the second quarter. FYR Macedonia secured a 41:28 halftime advantage. But Dominican Republic turned the tables after the big break. They erupted for 26 points in the third quarter to narrow the margin to 2 points at the final intermission. Dominican Republic ignited an impressive 32:20 rally in the fourth term to seal the victory at the end. Alfred Horford (208-F/C-86, college: Florida) accounted for 14 points and 15 boards, while Jack Michael Martinez added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the winners. Bo McCalebb (178-PG-85, college: New Orleans) responded with 35 points for FYR Macedonia. Vlado Ilievski banked 16 points in the loss.
Russia - Angola 80-65 Russian National Team made another step towards Olympic Games tournament. They defeated Angola in the quarterfinals of Olympic Qualifying Tournament and need one more step to seal their ticket to London. Vitaly Fridzon (196-G-85, agency: Alti Sport) scored 18 points to lead David Blatts team. Russia scored 25 points in the first quarter to take a 4-point lead. They held Angola to 5 points in the second term to ensure a 17-point halftime advantage. Russia and Angola traded baskets throughout the third quarter as Russia managed to secure a comfortable lead. They entered the final period up by 18 points 60:42. Angola outscored Russia in the final quarter but just sweetened the pill at the end. Sasha Kaun (211-C-85) notched 17 points for Russia. Andrei Kirilenko added 14 points for the winning team. Eduardo Mingas (200-C-79) answered with 20 points for Angola. Carlos Morais had 14 points in the losing case.
The 2016 Team USA basketball team will likely be led by Kevin Durant (206-SF-88, college: Texas) as LeBron James (203-SF-84) will reportedly skip the Olympics According to multiple reports, Team USA's Olympic roster is starting to take shape but LeBron James may not be a part of the team. Like Stephen Curry (190-PG-88, college: Davidson), Russell Westbrook (190-PG-88, college: UCLA), James Harden (196-SG-89, college: Arizona St.), LaMarcus Aldridge (211-F/C-85, college: Texas) and Chris P... [read more]
The 2016 Team USA basketball team will likely be led by Kevin Durant (206-SF-88, college: Texas) as LeBron James (203-SF-84) will reportedly skip the Olympics According to multiple reports, Team USA's Olympic roster is starting to take shape but LeBron James may not be a part of the team. Like Stephen Curry (190-PG-88, college: Davidson), Russell Westbrook (190-PG-88, college: UCLA), James Harden (196-SG-89, college: Arizona St.), LaMarcus Aldridge (211-F/C-85, college: Texas) and Chris Paul (183-PG-85, college: Wake Forest), James will reportedly will opt for rest and withdraw his name from consideration from the USA Basketball player pool. James has already played in three Olympics and won two Gold medals, and after winning the title for Cleveland, skipping out on Rio seems perfectly reasonable. Also, James just completed yet another lengthy NBA season and can use the summer to recuperate and recover, instead of adding extra miles on his legs by playing in the Olympics. Despite James and other superstars like Curry not participating in this summer's Olympics, Team USA will still have plenty of talent. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving (190-G-92, college: Duke), Klay Thompson (201-G-90, college: Washington St.) and Paul George (206-G/F-90, college: Fresno St.) are "locks" to be on the team. Draymond Green (201-F-90, college: Michigan St.) has already accepted an invitation to join Team USA, which means that there are still six or seven roster spots left. Others who will likely make the final cut are Kawhi Leonard (201-F-91, college: San Diego St.), Jimmy Butler (201-G/F-89, college: Marquette) and perhaps Damian Lillard (190-PG-90, college: Weber St.) and Andre Drummond (208-C-93, college: Connecticut). But we won't know for sure until Team USA announces their official roster for their 2016 Olympic team at the end of June.
Damian Lillard won't play for Team USA in Rio Olympics - 1 day ago
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Damian Lillard (6'3''-PG-90, college: Weber St.) petitioned himself onto the list of Team USA candidates after initially being left off the list of finalists for the 2016 Olympics. But with the Americans down on point guards - Stephen Curry (6'3''-PG-88, college: Davidson), Russell Westbrook (6'3''-PG-88, college: UCLA), Chris Paul (6'0''-PG-85, college: Wake Forest) and John Wall (6'4''-PG-90, college: Kentucky) - Lillard won't be headed to Rio. Kyle Lowry (6'0''-PG-86, college: Villanov... [read more]
Damian Lillard (6'3''-PG-90, college: Weber St.) petitioned himself onto the list of Team USA candidates after initially being left off the list of finalists for the 2016 Olympics. But with the Americans down on point guards - Stephen Curry (6'3''-PG-88, college: Davidson), Russell Westbrook (6'3''-PG-88, college: UCLA), Chris Paul (6'0''-PG-85, college: Wake Forest) and John Wall (6'4''-PG-90, college: Kentucky) - Lillard won't be headed to Rio. Kyle Lowry (6'0''-PG-86, college: Villanova)'s selection was even more important than we realized. Just two other finalist point guards are unaccounted for: Kyrie Irving (6'3''-G-92, college: Duke) and Mike Conley (6'1''-PG-87, college: Ohio St.). I wouldn't be surprised if both play in Rio. Irving has long been part of the program, and he's a Mike Krzyzewski favorite after playing for Duke. The ball is likely in his court. Conley isn't as certain to be selected, but he'd provide depth. If the Americans carry three point guards, he's the guy - unless they go off the finalist board again, as they did with Lowry. Kemba Walker or Isaiah Thomas might make sense. Courtesy of: nbcsports.com
No 2016 Olympics for rehabbing Jazz guard Dante Exum - 5 days ago
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Utah Jazz fans can relax. Dante Exum(198-PG-95) won't be injured playing for his national team again this offseason. Exum and the Utah Jazz announced Saturday night that the 20-year-old point guard will not play for his Australian team this summer as he continues a successful rehab from the knee injury he suffered with the Boomers in a friendly last summer. Unfortunately for the Aussies and Exum, that means the 6-foot-6 playmaker will not be participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Ri... [read more]
Utah Jazz fans can relax. Dante Exum (198-PG-95) won't be injured playing for his national team again this offseason. Exum and the Utah Jazz announced Saturday night that the 20-year-old point guard will not play for his Australian team this summer as he continues a successful rehab from the knee injury he suffered with the Boomers in a friendly last summer. Unfortunately for the Aussies and Exum, that means the 6-foot-6 playmaker will not be participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Jazz are very pleased with the progress Exum has made in the months following his knee surgery at the end of last summer. Though gaining more international experience might've been good for Exum, the decision to remain in Utah to continue working on his fitness and developing his skill set could be considered a prudent move for him and the Jazz. Skipping out on the Olympics, albeit a tough decision because of personal reasons and national pride, will prevent Exum from being overextended too quickly this summer due to national team duties. "At this stage the most important thing for me right now is to continue training," Exum said via a press release. "It's been great to be back on the court competing, and I'm really motivated to help the Jazz have a successful season this year. My support and best wishes will be with the Boomers this summer, and I look forward to future opportunities to represent my home country." Exum was recently given the green light to participate in full-contact basketball activities, and he's progressed from playing one-on-one and three-on-three games to game-like five-on-five scrimmages with fellow Jazz players and others, including BYU alum Tyler Haws. Exum had surgery last September on his left knee to repair a torn ACL, which he injured on Aug. 4 while trying to make a move in the paint during an Australian exhibition game against Slovenia. That injury kept him sidelined throughout the 2015-16 season. The Jazz had been very optimistic about the progress Exum made earlier in the offseason after averaging 4.8 points and 2.4 assists as a rookie in 2014-15 after being picked fifth overall in the 2014 draft. Ironically, the Melbourne, Australia, native became just the 10th rookie in Jazz history to appear in all 82 games. Courtesy of: desertnews.com
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