Rio Roundup: Day Twelve

Women’s beach volleyball decides medals, as host nation loses twice

Taking a much needed break from the he-said sensationalism that is the Ryan Lochte story…

Copacabana Beach saw the medals decided for the women, and with limited coverage on NBC thanks to the first ever triple medal sweep by Team USA in the women’s 100 meter hurdles–Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross halted the dreams of the top ranked team according to the FIVB rankings in Larissa and Talita by coming back to win in scores of 17-21, 21-17, 15-9 to take the bronze.

The gold went to the German pair of Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst as they beat out the heavy favorites in Agatha and Barbara to prevent a really huge party on Brazilian soil by impressive scores of 21-18, 21-14.

Water polo and basketball take over as Copacabana Beach took a competitive breather for most of the day

The American women kept their hopes of repeating their gold medal performance in London 2012 as they upset Hungary 14-10 in the water polo semifinals and will meet Italy, a 12-9 winner over Russia on Friday afternoon beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

As for the men’s basketball team, they trailed Argentina by ten in the first quarter before Kevin Durant (27 points on 9 of 13 shooting from the field) and DeAndre Jordan did their thing and they went the final 30 minutes on cruise control.  That final score was 105-78.  It is believed also to be the final game on the international stage for 2004 Olympic gold medalists Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni and Carlos Delfino. Scola was the high man with 15, while the longtime San Antonio Spurs great in Ginobili had 14 and the one-time Chicago Bulls fan favorite in Andres Nocioni chipped in with 12 points.

The next opponent for Dream Team VII on Friday is Spain in the semifinals beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern time on NBCSN, as they creamed Tony Parker and France 92-67 in another quarterfinal matchup.  The other semifinal will start at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

It will be the women’s turn on Thursday as their semifinal opponent will be France, 6 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN and the men will close out the fun that was beach volleyball on iconic Copacabana Beach as Brazil’s hopes rest squarely on the shoulders of Alison and Bruno Schmidt.

Thought of the Day:

As the ratings continue to plummet for the networks of NBC and their various Comcast owned cable properties with numbers not seen since Athens in 2004, one leads to wonder–how overblown will this Ryan Lochte story really be?

As Freddie Coleman said Wednesday night on his weeknight ESPN Radio talk show,

“I think you have 30 For 30 written all over it.”

Well, again–since most of us have such short attention spans in this day and age, I wonder how many people will watch however many hours ESPN would dole out for a documentary this bizarre.  I will guarantee you this–it will be a miracle if they pull at least half the numbers of the five-part O.J. Simpson documentary (fyi, the first part premiered on corporate cousin ABC).

Outside of more pickpockets roaming the streets of Rio, people cannot afford to let their guard down one iota.  Sure hope all of the facts are ironed out and those two other swimmers eventually return back home where they belong.

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