(CNN) — For more than a decade, the United States maintained its dominance in international men’s basketball. All of that changed when Team USA dropped its first match since 2006.
The Boomers, ranked 11th by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), won its first match against No. 1 rated USA, beating the group 98-94. The match has been played Marvel Stadium in Melbourne with a crowd of more than 52,000, the largest crowd to watch basketball in Australia.
The US had won 78 games in exhibitions and important international tournaments before Saturday’s World Cup display matchup.
“The Aussies gave us a terrific lesson as far as where we have to be and how we need to perform in this sort of competition,” US head coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. “So, we’ll get used to that and hopefully learn.”
The reduction comes two weeks after the US beat Australia 102-86 on Thursday. The previous time Team USA dropped was during the FIBA World Championship’s 2006 semifinals.
“nobody wins eternally,” Popovich said.
The US’ final exhibition is Monday from Canada in Sydney before going to the World Cup in China. There the defending World Cup winner will face the Czech Republic.
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