Nigeria’s D’Tigers Lose To Mali, Crash Out Of FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifiers

Nigeria senior men national basketball team, D’Tigers on Tuesday suffered their second consecutive defeat at the ongoing FIBA men’s Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos and subsequently missed out on a place in the Games coming up next year in Paris, France.

Having lost their first group game to five-time Afrobasket champions Senegal Nigeria needed a win to keep hopes of qualification alive but eventually lost 68-77 to Mali to exit the tournament.

D’Tigress won the first three quarters (17-15, 26-23, 18-15) but faltered massively in the 4th quarter (7-24), leaving Mali to claim the victory.

Coach Ogoh Odaudu-led team began the game well, after an initial delay in action due to technical issues at the Eko Convention Centre. D’Tigers raced to a 17-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The 2015 Afrobasket champions continued the second quarter in the same fashion as they took a five points lead into halftime with a 26-23 score.

Despite D’Tigers’ 18-15 victory over their West African neighbours in the third quarter, the final quarter became disastrous for the hosts, who had no response to their opponent. Mali went on a 16-0 run in the fourth quarter, silencing the roaring crowd inside the arena.

Nigeria finished bottom of Group A with two points, while Mali tops the standings level on points with Senegal but with a better point difference. The Senegalese will play Mali on Thursday to decide who emerges as Group A winners.

Meanwhile, Cameroon earlier outclassed Guinea 104-74 to comfortably top of Group B with two points thanks to Fabian Quentin Ateba’s 27-point display. The Central Africans will play three-time and reigning Afrobasket champion Tunisia on Wednesday.

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