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Nurkic Shines in FIBA World Cup Loss, Aminu on Runway

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Trail Blazers take the floor for their countries in World Cup Qualifying

Portland Trail Blazers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The FIBA World Cup 2019 qualifying round for basketball is underway and a couple of Portland Trail Blazers are set to make waves for their respective countries. Yesterday Jusuf Nurkic scored 25 points as Bosnia and Herzegovina fell to former Blazers draft pick Petteri Koponen and Finland, 85-81. The loss was dominated by fine play from Brooklyn Nets rookie Dzanan Musa, but 5-9 shooting and 10 made free throws left Nurkic as the game’s high scorer. He also finished as the leading rebounder.

Al-Farouq Aminu will take the floor for Nigeria today as they face continental rivals from the Ivory Coast. As Dami Ugbane reports for ESPN, Nigeria has a perfect record in World Cup Qualifiers. His article includes quotes from Aminu.

“It feels amazing to be back with D’Tigers. We putting together a really good team and I am sure of a good tournament for Nigeria,” the Nigerian-American said.

”Personally, I’m not under any kind of pressure playing in front of the Lagos fans. From my past experiences with a few of them cheering us in Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Venezuela, I have an idea of the atmosphere and it feels like it will all be the same starting from Friday.

”We going to put our best efforts and get the necessary results.”

*A second ago we had this as a win for Bosnia. A combination of wishful thinking, Nurk fever, and hitting the sauce at 10 am.