D’Tigers suffer defeat as FIBA World Cup begins in China
• Lose 77-82 To Russia
Yesterday was a bad day for the country’s national male basketball team, D’Tigers, as the team went down gallantly to Russia in their opening group game at the on-going FIBA World Cup in China.
The Europeans were stretched, almost to breaking point before they overcame the tough Nigerian side. It ended 82-77 for the Russians in one match that will be the talking point for many basketball followers in years to come.
Brave D’Tigers were almost snatching an incredible win, especially in the last quarter when they got an astonishing lead after trailing in the earlier three quarters.
Mikhail Kulagin poured 12 points in the first half, added the two winning free throws and finished with a team-high 16 points.Andrey Vorontsevich scored 14 points and Andrey Zubkov notched 12. Vitaly Fridzon went for 11 points.
The Russian team led by Sergey Bazarevich jumped to an 11-point lead in the first quarter. However, D’Tigers turned the game around. After knotting the contest at 58 at the end of the third quarter, the Nigerians got a 68-60 lead midway through the fourth, but could not hold on.
Josh Okogie posted a game-high 18 points, but the 20-year-old forward lost the ball with the game tied at 75-75 in the last minute. His turnover allowed the Russians to get back in the lead.Ike Iroegbu followed with 12 points and Nnamdi Vincent added 11 for the Alexander Nwora-led D’Tigers. Chimezie Metu and Jordan Nwora had 10 points apiece.Nigeria will face Argentina in their next group match.
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