Nigeria’s national basketball team, D’Tigers have finished the first phase of their 2021 AfroBasket Qualifiers with a 100% record in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Nigerian team defeated South Sudan, hosts Rwanda and Mali, each by a margin of at least 20 points to put themselves in a commanding position in Group D.
The Mike Brown-led team first brushed aside South Sudan 76-56 last Thursday before earning a another convincing 83-62 win against the hosts on Saturday.
Today, Sunday, it was however not as easy as the 91-68 scoreline will suggest as the Malians ensured D’Tigers had a quite slow start. In fact, the Nigerians trailed by nine points at the end of the 1st quarter.
D’Tigers, thereafter, found their range in the 2nd quarter with Amaze Egekeze notably making a big impact off the bench as the West African giants overturned the game. The 3rd quarter was more of end-to-end actions but the Nigerians turned on the style in the final quarter to wrap up the contest in an emphatic manner.
Following the win, D’Tigers top Group D with 6 points and an 83.3 points-per-game record.
They will converge again for the second phase of the qualifiers in February 2021, and face each of their group opponents one more time.
The 2021 AfroBasket finals, which will be the 30th edition of the continental competition, will be staged in Rwanda and take place between August 29 and September 5, 2021.