Good as gold: US women win 6th straight Olympic hoops title

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Humiliated on the brink of the Olympic final, Australia's Boomers will try to rebound Sunday to beat Spain and capture their nation's first men's basketball medal even though it's bronze.

But it was the improved US defensive play, and the work of DeMarcus Cousins on the boards pulling down 16 rebounds, that were singled out for praise. Sweden settled for silver on Thursday, falling to Germany 2-1 in the gold-medal game.

Serbia will now take on basketball superpower United States on Sunday in a David versus Goliath final. They already picked up a 103-63 win over Spain during the qualifying portion of the Olympics. Since 1996, the American have only had one game where they won by fewer than 10 points. The 19-year-old from Newark would be a big story for USA Boxing if he comes away with a gold. In the semifinals, Spain downed Serbia, 68-54.

The average margin of victory for the their Olympic games was almost 40 points, and the closest game was a 19-point victory over France in the semifinals. The Americans had a 46-32 edge in rebounding and also had five blocked shots.

With an Olympic record of 137-5 and having taken gold in 14 of the 17 Olympics in which they have participated there is no disputing the United States credentials. And while that's somewhat true, the fact that this "team" still hasn't come together to form a team is its biggest weakness - a potentially fatal one. "We're ready for the gold-medal game".

Ireland boxer Michael Conlan launches furious rant at AIBA after dubious loss
World, European and Commonwealth champion Conlan appeared to win the first round but the judges awarded it to Nikitin. The defeat means Conlan can not place on the podium and brings to an end his Rio Olympics journey.

Team USA defeated long-time rival Spain on the basketball court Friday, 82-76, to reach the Olympic men's basketball final.

The U.S. women, however, are taking nothing for granted as they zero in on gold number six.

"We're fine playing anybody", he said. The two losing countries will play each other for the bronze medal earlier in the day on Saturday. They will play the loser of the Serbia-Australia match in Sunday's bronze medal game, while the US await the victor. The American sprinters were rather displeased - Mike Rodgers used a word that we're not allowed to repeat here. But for the most part, we kept a really good team ... we limited them offensively.

Kyle Lowry managed nine points on 4-for-6 shooting to go along with three assists and three rebounds in just over 15 minutes of action.

Some people and journalists like to refer to any US men's Olympic basketball team, such as the current squad that will play for gold Sunday against Serbia, as a Dream Team as well.

  • Lawrence Cooper