The Nigerian national basketball team, D’Tigers, continued their dominance in African basketball on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, after becoming the first team to qualify for the 2021 Afrobasket in Rwanda by beating South Sudan 75-70pts in their opening game at the ongoing Afrobasket qualifiers in Monastir, Tunisia.
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Back to back treys from Obi Emeghano extended the team’s lead to 5 points and helped the Mfon Udofia led side to avoid a last-minute scare against the physically imposing North Africans who were one point ahead into the dying minutes of the encounter at the Salle Mohamed Mzali arena.
Presently ranked number one in African basketball, a hard-fought 18-9, 20-21, 19-18, 18-21 win saw the 2021 Olympic finalists continue their brilliant run of form despite the absence of coach Mike Brown.
As expected, Ike Iroegbu stood out brilliantly for the West Africans, scoring the highest number of points (16pts), 5 assists, and 7 rebounds. Emeghano also had a decent performance after scoring a total of 15 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds.
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Nuni Omot of South Sudan had the best display with an impressive total of 27 points, but it was not enough to see the hard-fighting South Sudanese come out top of the clash.
The trio of Chima Moneke, Amanze Egekeze, and Uche Iroegbu, who all made their debuts for Nigeria proved the future of basketball in the country is bright. While Moneke scored 8 points, Amanze registered 5 points before being pulled out with an injury. Uche Iroegbu continued the tradition of brothers in the Nigerian team (Ike Iroegbu’s brother), scoring six points, 3 rebounds, and 4 steals.
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