FIBA World Cup Qualifiers: D’Tigers rally to defeat Guinea
Nigeria secures second consecutive win in qualifiers
Nigeria’s D’Tigers picked up a second consecutive win of the qualifiers for the FIBA World Cup with a 62-59 win over Guinea in Luanda. The Nigerian stars recovered from a sub-par showing to claim a vital win and keep their hopes of qualification alive.
After an impressive showing and win over Ivory Coast yesterday, the Nigerian contingent were hopeful of claiming another vital win against Guinea.
The first quarter of the encounter was evenly contested, with both sides scoring 13 points in what was an error-strewn display that saw them each record numerous turnovers. The Guineans took the initiative in the second quarter as they opened up a 35-31 lead by the half-time break.
Guinea continued to punish their Nigerian opponents in the third quarter as they looked for an unlikely win, which would only be their second of the qualifiers. By the end of the third quarter, they had a 48-39 lead over the D’Tigers.
Trailing by 11 points in the fourth quarter, the Nigerian team showed their grit to come back and secure a 62-59 win, keeping their hopes of qualification alive. Kwara Falcons star Victor Ezeh led the scoring for the Nigerian team for the second straight game with 16 points, and Michael Daramola also contributed 16 points in the game.
The Nigerians shot 42.9% from beyond the arc, compared to 15.4% for Guinea. Both sides had similar shot conversions, with Nigeria converting 35% of their shots while Guinea converted 35.3% of theirs. Nigeria secured a second straight win over Guinea, following up their win last year.
D’Tigers will face Angola in their third and final game of this qualifying window, with the side needing a win to keep up hope of qualification for the FIBA World Cup. Angola defeated the side last year, and a win for the Central African nation side will spell an end to their qualification hopes.