D’Tigers qualify for 2021 AfroBasket Championship unbeaten
Nigeria’s national basketball team, D’Tigers have booked their place in the forthcoming 2021 FIBA AfroBasket as they finish their qualifiers with a 100% record.
As confirmed by the AfroBasket official account, Nigeria are the only team to officially qualify for the FIBA African Championship with an unbeaten record.
On Friday, D’Tigers rounded off their qualifying series on a winning note as they completed a double over South Sudan, Rwanda and Mali to finish top of their group with maximum points.
In the first phase of the qualifiers staged in Kigali last November, the Mike Brown-led team brushed over all three teams each by a margin of at least 20 points.
It was however not as easy as they expected in the second phase, although they deliberately decided not to call all their big stars for the outing.
They defeated South Sudan 75-70 in a keenly contested game on Wednesday – and that was all they needed to secure qualification for the continental championship.
The 2021 AfroBasket host Rwanda also made a good effort to break the Nigerian side’s unbeaten run on Thursday. They did force D’Tigers to trail by eight points at the end of first quarter but the West Africans came back stronger in the latter stages and overturned to clinch a 64-51 win.
D’Tigers wrapped up their campaign with a resounding 76-56 win over Mali as captain Ike Diogu finished with a double-double (20 points & 11 rebounds).
The 2021 AfroBasket finals, which will be the 30th edition of the continental competition, will take place between August 29 and September 5, 2021.
D’Tigers will be hoping to bring the trophy home again having won it only once in year 2015.