D’Tigers claimed a clean sweep in the first phase of the FIBA AfroBasket qualifiers as they defeated Mali 91-68 at the Kigali Arena on Sunday.
Captain, Ike Diogu led from the front as he powered the team to its third victory with 14 points, 5 rebounds to emerge the team’s top performer.
The win follows triumphs over South Sudan and hosts Rwanda in their opening two games in Group D.
Although Mali ended the first quarter 16-13 ahead, they lost their way in the second quarter as Nigeria headed into the break with a 39-31 points lead.
Mike Brown’s team dominated in the second half, winning the third and fourth quarters (22-20, 30-17) no thanks to some sloppy play leading to series of turnovers which the Malians paid for dearly.
Point Guard, Ike Iroegbu continued his sterling performance and consistency for the team scoring an amazing 17 points, 4 steals and 6 assists.
Obi Emegano and Keith Omoerah combined to score 23 points on a night that the team confirmed its superiority.
Despite the heroics of Ibrahim Djambo who sank 22 points and 5 rebounds, it was not enough to stop the determined D’Tigers team who had their eyes fixed on their third straight win after defeating South Sudan and host-Rwanda.
Attention will now shift to the next set of group matches slated for February, 2021 with Nigeria sitting pretty easy atop Group D.
Twenty teams divided into five groups of four are competing in the qualifiers.
The top three teams from each group will automatically qualify to the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 to be held in Rwanda.