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Gallant D’Tigers fall to Argentina, face Korea for second round ticket

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Nigeria’s Chimezie Metu (centre) takes a shot during the FIBA World Cup Group B game against Argentina in Wuhan, Hubei province, China…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP.

Inexperience and ill-luck came to play yesterday when Nigeria’s senior men’s basketball team faced Argentina in their second game of the on-going FIBA World Cup in China. The Nigerians, who at half time were tied 43 points with the Argentines, could not manage their game successfully as they fell 81 to 94 when the final bell rang.

Despite a spirited effort from the young side paraded by Alex Nwora against the fifth rated team in the world, it was not enough on the day managing to win only second quarter 17-28, 26-15, 18-29, 20-22.

Josh Okogie, who on Sunday celebrated his 21st birthday, again was the top performer for the team with 18 points, five assists and two rebounds.

Jordan Nwora scored 12 points, two assists and caught three rebounds during the 20.51 minutes he spent on the court.

Al-Farouk Aminu put in a good shift defensively for the team with eight rebounds and three points.

Speaking during the post match press conference, Head Coach, Alex Nwora said he was proud of the team and that D’Tigers lost to a better side despite battling hard to grind out a win.

Nwora said that it was not the result the boys wanted but that  in basketball, losing and winning were all part of the game.

“I am proud of them. We battled for our lives, we battled back for a better deficit unfortunately, we fell short in some areas.”

Nwora said the D’Tigers team is a young team and have not played together for a long time compared to most teams competing at the World Cup.

“This particular team is a very young team. Some of the players are playing together for the first time. I believe if we continue blending this team, we can only get better if we keep this team together.”

He said attention would now be focused on the last group game against Korea as the search continues for the win.


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