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FIBA AfroCAN 2023: D’Tigers defeat Mali in opener

Nigerian contingent secures win against all odds in Angola

Nigeria’s D’Tigers commenced their participation at the 2023 FIBA AfroCAN in Angola with a 62-56 win over Mali in their opening Group game at the tournament.

Having been handed a wildcard entry into the competition, Nigeria’s team arrived Angola only 12 hours before their opening game against Mali after logistic issues before they exited the country.

Their jet lag was, however, not apparent as they got to work immediately on the Malian team, taking a commanding 20-9 lead in the first quarter.

Mali fought back in the second quarter but could only reduce the deficit, with the D’Tigers still holding a 30-22 lead by the midway point of the match.

The third quarter was more of the same as Mali struggled against the Nigerian team, ending the quarter with a nine-point deficit. The Malians brought their arsenal out in the fourth quarter and pushed the D’Tigers all the way, but the coach Ogoh Odaudu-tutored side held on to record a 62-56 win.

Michael Afuwape led the scoring for the D’Tigers with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Martins Chimbuo scored 15 points, eight rebounds and two assists for the Nigerian team to lead them to victory in their curtain-raiser.

The D’Tigers failed to win a single game in their last time of participating in the competition and will be hopeful of making it two wins from two when they take on hosts Angola on July 10th in their second game.

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