Who would have thought Africa’s Champions would pull a tournament upset and defeat Croatia to win their first match of the Rio 2016 Olympics, but they did —more-so in grand style.
The Croatians had won two of their previous three games, and to the rest of the world it was only natural that the Europeans beat a team that, at the time, had only ever won one Olympic game.
D’Tigers led the world to believe they were right after the first quarter ended 28-21 in favor of the Croatians, but soon the world would stand aghast as the Nigeria men’s senior basketball team outscored their opponents in the second quarter to grab a de jure half time lead.
The debonair Nigerian team did not stop there, with clinical long range shots that completely rattled the European side’s defenses —extending their lead into the end of the third quarter.
However, a moment of truth came for Nigeria in the fourth quarter when the Olympic ‘natural order’ of things was about to return to the game — the Croatians had pressured the Nigerian side and reduced the lead from 14 points to 3.
Just then, Nigeria as always rose to the occasion, as Josh Akognon sunk a beautiful 3-pointer through the basket, extending Nigeria’s lead to 6 points with just three minutes left on the clock. A few more points from D’Tigers took the game far beyond the Croats’ reach, 90-76 points, as Nigeria left the game with more than just a win —we had created our own ‘natural order’ at the Olympics.