Nigeria’s senior men basketball team D’Tigers bounced back from defeat to Côte d’Ivoire with a 72-59 win over the Central African Republic (CAR) in a 2019 FIBA World Cup qualification encounter played at the weekend.
D’Tigers suffered the first loss of their campaign to Côte d’Ivoire on Friday, February 22 which was their first defeat in ten qualification games.
The Nigerian team led by Alex Nwora, however, recorded a win against CAR with several stars missing.
NBA’s Portland Trail Blazer star Al Farouq Aminu was still missing, as well as American college basketball sensation Jordan Nwora but D’Tigers got the job done in style.
The first quarter was tied at 14-14, but D’Tigers took the second quarter 18-11 to take a seven-point lead to the half time break.
The lead extended to 13 points as the third quarter ended 21-15 in favour of D’Tigers and even though the fourth quarter was tied at 19-19 Nigeria came out comfortable winners.
Some of the star players of D’Tigers that were not impressive against Côte d’Ivoire put ion big performances to be victorious against CAR.
Top performers were Ike Iroegbu who had a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds against CAR.
Captain Ike Diogu put up 22 points and nine rebounds, Point Guard, Michael Umeh added 11 points and five assists with Ibe Agu Abuchi finally making his debut for the senior national team with a huge defensive performance in the 15 minutes given to home on the court.
Nigeria’s D’Tigers have already booked a place at the FIBA World Cup but battle Senegal in the last qualification encounter scheduled for Sunday, February 24 and will determine the eventual group winners.