The Nigerian basketball team finally advanced to the quarter-final round of the Afrobasket 2021 in Rwanda. However, the team suffered a loss in their final group match against their West African rivals, Cote d’ Ivoire losing by 68 points to 77. The result cost the team an automatic quarterfinal ticket.
With an obvious lack of concentration in the first quarter where the scores were at 11 to 20 in favour of Cote d’ Ivoire, Nigeria began playing catch up all through the game. Tigers put up a better showing in the second quarter by earning 23 points against 19 but it was not enough to close the deficit as Cote d’ Ivoire won the third and fourth quarter respectively.
The star man for Nigeria was Benjamin Emelogu who contributed 13 points and 5 rebounds, but it was not enough to lead Nigeria to three games without defeat. This loss is coming after a resounding victory against (71-55) Kenya last Friday with Jeremiah Mordi and Uzodinma Utomi turning up against the Kenyans.
Nigeria is drawn against Uganda in the quarter-final round and the head coach, Mike Brown will be looking to inspire a better starting performance from his tigers tomorrow if they want to avoid what happened in the previous match. “Ivory Coast is a better team than us. They played harder than us today, they played smarter than us and they got the win.”, the coach stated.
D’tigers are still favourites in the tie but it will not be a walk in the park.