The Finnish ‘Wolf Pack’ failed to score an upset on Saturday evening when they took on the United States in the first game of their World Cup adventure.
Finland had gained a wild card entry to the tournament and started off with the toughest match imaginable, so it was hardly a surprise when they lost by 114 points to 55.
“A 60 point defeat isn’t much to shout about,” said the team’s guard Teemu Rannikko. “We were a bit like little boys out there at times.”
Klay Thompson led the scoring for the US with 18 points, while Anthony Davis came in second with 17 points. Petteri Koponen and Shawn Huff were Finland’s top scorers, both notching 12 points.
The Finnish supporters were the one bright spot during the defeat, with some 8,000 making the long trip to the Basque country.
“We were losing by 50 points and the fans were still standing up and supporting us,” said Rannikko. “None of us have experienced anything like that before.”
Finland have a chance to make amends on Sunday evening when they play Ukraine. That game tips off at 17:00 and is shown live on Yle’s TV2 as well as on Yle Areena.