D’Tigers lose to Mali as Nigeria fail to make it to the next round of the Olympic qualifiers…
Nigeria’s D’Tigers on Tuesday lost their second straight game of the 2024 FIBA men’s Olympic pre-qualifying event at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos, thereby missing out on a 2024 Paris Olympic ticket for the first time since 2008.
D’Tigers lost their first match of the pre-qualifying tournament to Senegal on Sunday night and were determined to right the wrongs in subsequent games but that was not enough as they fell 68-77 to Mail.
Just like against Senegal, Nigeri’s D’Tigers began the game well taking a two-point lead (17-15) after the first quarter. The players maintained the energy in the second quarter as they took a 26-23 lead to head into halftime with a five-point lead.
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Nigeria continued to gradually build up on their lead in the third quarter, taking it 18-15 to make it an eight-point game at the end of the third quarter. It was in the fourth quarter it all fell apart for D’Tigers as Mali went on a 16-0 run to silence the crowd inside the arena at the Eko Convention Centre and eventually won the quarter 24-7.
Just like against Senegal, Uche Iroegbu was Nigeria’s best performer with 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Daniel Utomi followed with 16 points, while Phoenix Suns star Chimezie Metu recorded just seven points on the night.
As D’Tigers lose to Mali, Nigeria sits bottom of Group A, while Mali tops the group level on points with Senegal but with a better point difference. The Teranga Lions will face Mali on Thursday to decide who finishes top of the group.