Nigeria’s men basketball team, D’Tigers were few good decisions close to winning their FIBA opener against highly ranked Russia.
After wins in wram up games against top sides and with the caliber of players selected for the tournament much was expected of the Nigerians.
Russia ran into a 18-13 lead in the first quarter but the score at half time was 40-35 as the 2nd quarter ended 22-22.
The boys roared back in the third quarter taking 23-18 to tie the score at 68-68 with Timberwolves shooting guard Josh Okogie making three points from free throws to tie the score.
Nigeria then ran into a 6 points lead at the start of the fourth quarter but with just less than 3 minutes left on the clock the score was tie and Russia even took the lead.
At 77-75 Nigeria had the chance to tie the score but Jordan Nwora missed a lay up, a steal from Al Farouq Aminu got the ball back but Josh Okogie turned the ball over.
The team continued to turn the ball over trying to play hero ball and also gave away needless fouls to enable the Russians take the game by the scruff of the neck.
TEAM COMPARISON STATS
Clearly from the stats, because of individual plays, there were more turn overs and less ball sharing amongst the D’Tigers.
We dominated the paints but made to pay with the Russians efforts behind the paints.
Josh Okogie was Nigeria’s top performer with 18 points, three rebounds and 4 assists.
It’s back to drawing board for Nigeria who now play Argentina on Monday.
Argentina smashed South Korea 95-69 in their first game.