Nigeria’s national men’s basketball team D’Tigers have all but crashed out of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China after an 81-94 loss to Group B leaders Argentina at the Wuhan Sports Centre.
D’Tigers, making their debut at the FIBA World Cup, lost their opening match 77-82 to Russia and needed a victory against Argentina to keep hopes of progressing to the second round alive.
But the team started slowly to end the first quarter 17-28 behind. Nigeria, however, rallied in the second quarter to claw back the deficit and even led briefly but ended the half tied at 43-43.
All the good work was undone after the break as the Argentines pulled away no thanks to a litany of missed shots, missed free throws, turnovers and personal fouls by D’Tigers.
The normally reliable Jordan Nwora only shot 29% from the field making 4/14 shots to finish with 12 points while Al-Farouk Aminu shot 17% to score a dismal 3 points in 22 minutes of action.
Minnesota Timberwolves wingman Josh Okogie was Nigeria’s top performer making 6/11 field goals including a hundred per cent from beyond the arc as he replicated his 18 points total in the game against Russia.
Patricio Garino finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds while veteran Luis Scola added 23 points and 10 rebounds for Argentina who are virtually through to the Second Round after they beat Korea 95-69 in their opening game.
Nigeria play Korea in their final group game on Wednesday, 4 September and will require the Asians to defeat Russia when they play later today to keep their chances of progressing to the Second Round alive.