By Bamidele Boluwaji:
Nigeria’s D’Tigers suffered their first defeat at the ongoing 2017 FIBA Men’s AfroBasket Championship in Tunisia as they lost 83-77 points to Democratic Republic of Congo in their third game of the tournament.
But, despite the result, the defending champions still qualified for the quarter-finals of the tournament, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Nigerians who had defeated both Cote D’Ivoire and Mali in their previous games, opened Sunday’s game on good note, winning the first quarter with 20-19 points and also led the second quarter with 17-15 points to end the first half with 37-34 points lead.
Much was expected from the defending champions on their resumption for the second half but the Congolese stepped up their game to ensure they tied the third quarter with 18-18 points against the Nigerians.
It was the beginning of the bad result that will lead to their first defeat in the tournament.
The Congolese however capitalised on their resurgence in the third quarter to mount serious pressure on the Nigerians who eventually lost the game with 83-77 in favour of the Congolese.
Despite the defeat, Nigeria still qualified for the quarter final stage with five points.
In Sunday’s game, D’Tigers captain Ike Diogu recorded 21points while Ayodeji Akindele contributed 11 rebounds as Ikenne Iroegbu added seven assists.
Nigeria will know their quarter-final opponent for Thursday’s game after the last game of the Group A later tonight.