Nigeria men basketball team, D’Tigers defeated their fierce West African rivals, Cote D’Ivoire 83-66 points in their first classification game at the ongoing 2019 FIBA World Cup in yet another impressive performance.
The team was inspired by Al-Farouq Aminu with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists to emerge the top performer.
D’Tigers who have since set their target on an automatic Olympic Games qualification started in a fierce fashion to win the first quarter, 24-18 points.
Not to be outdone and inspired by Deon Thompson, the Ivorians stepped up their offensive play to win the second quarter, 17-13points as the first half ended with just two points advantage for D’Tigers, 37-35pts.
Some crucial treys from Nnamdi Vincent and Stan Okoye proved decisive in the 3rd quarter against the familiar foes who were not ready to roll over without a fight.
Vincent contributed 15 points, 2 rebounds while Ekpe Udoh had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist in a match that 5 players scored double digits.
Commenting after the game, Head Coach, Alex Nwora again praised the team for beautifully executing the game plan.
“I think we did a good job today to contain a well-coached Ivorian team. I am proud of these guys and their efforts. I think we have one more game to worry about against China on Sunday”.
The win is the 6th by Nigeria in as many as seven meetings between both sides.
As it stands, the team is the highest ranked African at the World Cup ahead of their last game against host- China, and a win will see them book a place in Tokyo 2020 Olympics.