December 21 2014 Latest news:
Michael Bailey , London Olympics correspondent
Monday, August 6, 2012
Maybe it was a little shameful and a bit of a box-ticking exercise – but the opportunity to take in the USA basketball team is something you don’t turn down.
What was perhaps best of all about Saturday afternoon’s game against Lithuania in the Olympic Park’s basketball arena was that it was an actual contest. The Dream Team doesn’t usually get those at the Olympics.
Given their record-breaking exploits in the previous clash against Nigeria – racking up a crazy 83-point, 156-73 victory – expectation was sky high.
The NBA stars are always going to dominate. That league is the pinnacle. But there are plenty of places in the rest of the world that love the sport too – and their four-yearly shot at picking up a shock.
In fact, the superb and vocal Lithuanian support on Saturday – sat among plenty of star spangled banners – made you feel the arena was willing an upset.
The USA got through; Lebron, K-Dog and Kobe helping to see them through.
For everyone else, it’s about the spectacle – for the Dream Team it’s about having everything to lose, every time they step out on the court. How’s that for expectation…
• What a night it is in prospect for Anthony Ogogo. At the Excel Arena’s boxing hall on Monday evening, the Lowestoft Triple A fighter will take on Germany’s Stefan Hartel in his middleweight quarter-final.
Nine minutes of action, that if Ogogo wins would see him into the last four. But most importantly, as there are no bronze medal fights in the boxing, it would guarantee him an Olympic medal.
His last-16 victory over top seed Ievgen Khytrov was exhilarating, and he knows he has got to forget that ahead of Monday night. Here’s hoping his physical and emotional strength allows him to.
From my own point of view there was going to be a horrible clash between Ogogo’s fight and what would have been Barbara Parker’s steeplechase final – before her untimely exit.
Decision avoided – and I hope Parket gets the chance to cheer Anthony on too.