It’s hard to say that getting blown out helps a team improve. But that is the case for Angola after getting walloped by the United States 121-66 in the Eight Final and getting eliminated from the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

“Playing against guys like this at this level just shows you how far you still have to go,” said Angola’s Roberto Fortes, who scored 11 points in the loss.

“As much hype that you have back home you come here and just want to get better. So this is only more motivation for us.”

The Angolans, who beat Jordan and Germany on their way to the knockout stage, actually can take comfort in knowing that they played against Team USA without star guard Olimpio Cipriano.

“It definitely was possible to have a better game. We didn’t have Olimpio, who scored 30 points to help us beat Germany. You take 30 points away from our team and it kind of puts us down a little bit,” said Fortes.

“But still we had to do what we had to do and keep the team together and compete as hard as we can and leave it out on the court. And that’s what we did tonight. We could have done better even with the players that we had. But those guys are pretty aggressive. They’re the best and they just showed us that we have a lot more to work on. But we’re going to keep getting better.”

Fortes admitted it was a dream to play against the U.S. team, especially since he lived in the States for 16 years and went to Daytona Beach and Illinois State University.

“I think it’s a dream for every player in the world. They want to compete against the best. If you’re a competitive person you want to compete against the best. And that’s what happened tonight. They just let you see it, they put the bar up so high. You need to get better to get to these guys’ level,” he said.

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