Nigeria’s D’Tigers lost to Ivory Coast in Abidjan as they resumed their 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifying campaign. The Nigerian team lost 78-66 against a vastly superior Ivorian side.
The Nigerians were hit with a wave of withdrawals in the build-up to the qualifiers as Olympians Miye Oni and Ike Nwamu pulled out as well as Christian Mekowulu. D’Tigers called up Chris Obekpa and Jordan Ogundiran for the games instead.
The match started at an even tempo with both sides scoring 14 points in the first quarter. The Ivorian began to pull away in the second quarter, finishing the first half with a 42-36 lead. The home side continued to control proceedings in the third quarter as they extended their lead to 60-52 heading into the final quarter. They went on to score 18 more points in the fourth quarter while the Nigerians scored 14, and the match ended 78-66 in the favour of the home side.
Ivorian star Vafessa Fofana led all scorers in the game with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Minnesota Timberwolves star Josh Okogie led the scoring for the D’Tigers with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Sacramento Kings star Chimezie Metu also contributed 20 points and 11 rebounds for the D’Tigers in a losing cause.
D’Tigers will return to action tomorrow against Guinea as they look to get their Group E campaign back on track.