D’Tigers Shock Croatia To Keep Rio Hopes Alive

Nigeria’s D’Tigers earned their first win at the 2016 Olympics men’s basketball event by pulling off the biggest upset to date in the competition with a 90-76 defeat of Croatia on Friday night.

With the victory, the African champions improved to 1-3 to keep alive their hopes of advancing to the quarter-finals. Croatia, meanwhile, dropped to 2-2.

Croatia led 28-21 at the end the first quarter but Nigeria outscored them 22-11 in the second to take a 43-39 half-time lead. Michael Umeh hit 5-of-8 three-pointers for 16 points first half points.

Nigeria’s lead reached 50-35 when big man Ike Diogu connected from beyond three-point range.

Croatia however got within 74-71 on a Bojan Bogdanovic free-throw with 4:14 left to play but down the stretch Josh Akognon and Ebi Ere hit clutch three-pointers to secure the impressive win.

The victory is Nigeria’s biggest win at the world level since they surprised Greece 80-79 at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Heading into their final game against hosts Brazil on the back of this win can only do their confidence a world of good. Croatia will face European rivals Lithuania and whether or not they reach the Quarter-Finals may be dictated by more than the result of their game.

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