Nigerian national basketball team, D’Tigers emerged victorious in their first game at the ongoing 2021 Afrobasket qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda, after beating South Sudan 76-56, today, Thursday, November 26, 2020. D’Tigers won three out of four quarters to beat their North African opponents who replaced Algeria in the qualifiers.
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Coach Mike Brown in what was his first game as coach of Nigeria, named team captain, Ike Diogu, alongside Ike Iroegbu, Keith Omoerah, Obi Emegano, and Mike Gbinije in his starting five for the Group D Afrobasket qualifiers. A 22-17 scoreline saw Nigeria emerge winners for the first quarter, before repeating the same feat in the second quarter with a 24-12 blowout. South Sudan would try to come back into the game after winning the third quarter by 20-15, but D’Tigers would not risk any chances as they completed the fourth quarter with a 15-7 score.
Caleb Agada led the Nigerian scoreboard after amassing a total of 16 points, followed by Iroegbu who recorded 13 points. During the game, Nigeria was far more effective from the three-point line with 40% shots compared to South Sudan’s 15%. However, the North Africans had more control in the paint with 37% of shots compared to Nigeria’s 33%.
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A delighted Ike Diogu expressed his satisfaction at the result despite limited practice time.
‘Practice time has been limited. This is actually our first game, so it is good to get our feet wet and get some live competition.’
Coach Brown who met his players for the first time this week, described his experience as ‘’exciting’’ as he looks forward to Nigeria’s next game against hosts, Rwanda, on Saturday, November 28, 2020.
‘The guys we have here are fantastic individuals, and obviously, they are good basketball players.’
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