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- The Australian women’s basketball team defeated Team USA on Friday 70-67 in a come-from-behind win.
- Australia’s Opals won the game despite playing without WNBA star Liz Cambage who pulled out of the Olympics citing mental health issues..
- USBWNT is still a heavy -1100 betting favorite to win the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
It looks like USA Basketball won’t be coasting in the Olympics.
After the men’s basketball team led by Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, and Jayson Tatum lost back to back games to Nigeria and Australia last week, the U.S. women’s basketball team was the next to suffer back to back losses.
The first loss was against a WNBA selection so that could be “forgivable”. But Friday’s 70-67 loss to the Australian women’s basketball team marked their first back to back losses since 2011 when they dropped a pair of games as part of a European Tour.
Shout out to the @BasketballAus Opals who came away with a big time 70-67 come from behind win over the USA this morning ??
The girls had to rally after being down by 13 at the half but were able to get the job done.
Next stop for both the Boomers and Opals: Tokyo ?? pic.twitter.com/GGN9KjzSUP
— The NBL (@NBL) July 16, 2021
Prior to Friday’s loss, the US Basketball women’s national team ( USBWNT ) had a 29-2 record in exhibition games. The Americans close out their tune-up games with a Sunday matchup against Nigeria, the team whom they will open pool play against at the Tokyo Olympics.
Liz Cambage Pulls Out
WNBA star Liz Cambage pulls out of Australia’s Olympic team for Tokyo, citing need to take care of her mental health. @byjohnpye #Tokyo2020 https://t.co/7K24EdYvu1
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) July 16, 2021
The Opals’ win came at the heels of WNBA superstar Liz Cambage pulling out of the Australian women’s basketball team due to mental health and anxiety concerns about being isolated in a bubble format in the Japanese capital.
in the Tokyo Olympics will be restricted to a “bubble” in Tokyo for the duration of the event. According to Cambage, the thought of staying inside the “bubble” made her anxious for weeks that she could hardly sleep or eat. In the end, she decided that the best thing for her mental and physical health would be to pull out of the Australian women’s basketball team.
The absence of the two-time Olympic veteran is a big blow to the Opals’ medal chances in Tokyo. As of the latest odds at the best basketball betting sites, Australia’s women’s basketball team is second in the Olympic gold medal odds board. Online sportsbook DraftKings listed them at +1000, behind only the same American team they defeated on Friday.
USBWNT Still Heavy Favorites
Ahead of the Olympics, here are @DraftKings 5×5 women’s basketball competition odds:
– USA -1100
– Australia +1000
– Spain +2000
– France +2200
– Canada +3000
– Serbia +3000
– Belgium +4500
– China +10000
– Japan +10000
– Nigeria +10000
– South Korea +50000
– Puerto Rico +50000
— Mitchell Hansen (@M_Hansen13) July 15, 2021
Despite the losses, the USBWNT is still the heavy betting favorites to take gold in Tokyo. They are currently the number 1 ranked team by FIBA and is by far the most successful team in international women’s basketball, with 8 gold medal victories in 10 Olympic games participated. They have also won 8 out of 11 World Cups played in, including the last three.
The USBWNT is one of the most dominant teams in Olympic sports with a 66-3 all-time record in the Summer Games. They have not lost a game in the Olympics since 1992 and have not been beaten at any tournament since 2006. Since settling for Bronze in 1992, they have won the last six Olympic tournaments and head to Tokyo with an impressive 49-game Olympic winning streak.
A win in Tokyo will match the record of 7 straight gold medal wins by their men’s counterpart for most consecutive Olympic team victories. However, like the US men’s basketball team, it won’t appear to be as easy as the previous Olympic games as the Americans have not looked invincible this time.
Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit’s Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn’t busy jotting down his thoughts, he’s just chillin’ at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.