By Abolade Ogundimu
Nigeria’s Senior men Basketball team, D’Tigers, recorded their first loss in 2017 FIBA Afrobasket Championship, going down 77-83 to to DR Congo.
It was their last Group A Match, but they are through to the quarter-final.
According to the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) social site, D’Tigers experienced the defeat on Sunday in Tunisia in their last Group A match.
DR Congo earlier lost 82-87 points to Mali in Day one Group A match while they defeated Mali 90-67 on Day two.
During the match, U.S. based player, Bryant Mbamalu emerged top performer for D’Tigers having scored 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals while got the highest point for the team.
Similarly, Ayodeji Akindele got 11 rebounds, Ikenna Iroegbu made seven assists and Daniel Ochefu made two blocks.
Nigeria, having qualified for the quarter final of the championship, would know its position in the group based on the winner of Sunday match between Mali and Cote d’Ivoire.
D’Tigers defence gained momentum on Saturday in Tunisia when they defeated Mali 90-67 points in their second Group A match.
The senior men basketball team had narrowly beaten Cote d’Ivoire 78-77 points in their first group match on Friday.
Nigeria beat Mali 20-16 in the first quarter, ended the second quarter leading 39-33, and maintained the dominance by leading 66-51 by the end of the third quarter.
D’Tigers are the competition’s defending champions, having won the last edition in 2015, while their female counterparts D’Tigress are champions of the 2017 Women’s AfroBasket.
Nigeria’s senior women team, D’Tigress, last Sunday restored the nation’s lost glory in the Afrobasket by defeating defending champions, Senegal to clinch the title for the third time after 12 years.
The News agency of Nigeria reports that in the competition’s final played in Bamako, Mali, the D’Tigress walloped their Senegalese counterparts 65-48 points to beat them a second time in the championship.
The team recorded no loss in all their games to the final in the 2017 edition after they had won it last in 2005. They first won it in in 2003.
With the victory, the team has qualified for the 2018 Women FIBA Championship in Spain.