(CNN) — For over a decade, the United States maintained its dominance in global men’s basketball. When Team USA dropped its first game since 2006 to Australia, all of that changed Saturday.
The Boomers, ranked 11th by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), won its first match against No. 1 ranked USA, beating the group 98-94. The game was played in Marvel Stadium in Melbourne having a crowd of more than 52,000, the largest crowd ever to watch basketball.
The US had won 78 games directly in international awards and tournaments before Saturday’s World Cup display matchup.
“The Aussies gave us a terrific lesson as much as where we have to be and we have to perform in this kind of competition,” US head coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. “So, we’ll get used to that and hopefully learn.”
The loss comes two days after the US defeat Australia 102-86 on Thursday. The time Team USA dropped was through the 2006 semifinals of the FIBA World Championship.
“Nobody wins forever,” Popovich said.
The US’ closing exhibition is Monday against Canada in Sydney before heading into the World Cup in China. There the defending World Cup champion will face the Czech Republic on September 1.
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