D’Tigers Head Coach, Alex Nwora says the Peak Invitational victory on Sunday against Montenegro could not have come at a better time for the team.
Nwora who led the team to its first-ever Peak Invitational title in Yangzhou which heralds the FIBA Men’s World Cup on Saturday, August 31 said ending their preparation for the world cup with the victory was very important for the team’s confidence.
In a chat with NBBF Media from China, Nwora said, “Getting the win against Montenegro who on paper are way above Nigeria is a good step in the right direction. It shows that weeks of training have continued to yield the desired results for us as a team.”
The experienced coach who will be making his World Cup debut alongside his players believes that the team’s continued improvement may have caught the attention of their group B opponents.
Despite shooting to an 8-5 points lead in the opening minutes of the game, the team lost the first quarter by 16-18 points against a Montenegro side ranked 28.
The second quarter was no different from the first as Montenegro stretched the lead to 8 points with the quarter ending 36-44 points.
The second half took a different turn, however, with master class performances from Ike Diogu, Ike Iroegbu and Jordan Nwora who were desperate to end their World Cup preparation on a winning note.
D’Tigers took the lead and held on to it for the better part of the game to defeat Montenegro by 89-86 points.
Jordan Nwora led the team scorer’s chart with 19pts while Ike Iroegbu weighed in with 18pts. Captain, Ike Diogu contributed 13points as the duo of Ekpe Udoh and Al-Farouq Aminu contributed 11pts and 10 pts respectively.
On Saturday, D’Tigers who are ranked 33 in the world recovered from a 22 point deficit to force overtime before defeating 25th ranked by Poland 87-84 points.
During the pre-World Cup preparation, Nigeria have beaten 18th ranked Dominican Republic (twice) and Canada who are ranked 23 in the world.