Nigeria’s D’Tigers battled hard against world No.2 Spain on Thursday night/Friday morning in their men’s basketball clash but still fell by nine points, 96-87, in one of the most fiercely contested games of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Spain raced out of the blocks and looked to be cruising as they ended the first quarter 25-11 in front.
D’Tigers, seeking to avoid a third straight defeat like the Spaniards, fought back gamely in the second quarter and cut the deficit to just two points, 43-41, going into half-time.
A massive upset looked to be on the cards as the African champions overcame a mid-quarter slump to take a 66-65 lead into the final quarter.
But Spain’s superior experience told in the end as they stepped it up a gear in the fourth quarter to win their first game of Rio 2016.
Chamberlain Oguchi top scored for Nigeria with an impressive 24 points, while Pau Gasol scored 18 points for Spain.
D’Tigers, who lost their first two games to Argentina and Lithuania, must now beat Croatia and Brazil in their next two matches to reach the quarter-finals.