Nigeria men’s basketball team, D’Tigers have become the first team to qualify for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Championship.
The one-time African champions secured their ticket after defeating South Sudan 75-70pts in the qualifiers on Wednesday evening in Monsatir, Tunisia.
D’Tigers avoided a last minute scare against a physically imposing opposition as back to back treys from Obi Emegano stretched D’Tigers’ lead to five after South Sudan opened a one gap lead in the dying minutes of the game.
Currently ranked number one in Africa, the Mfon Udofia-led side held their head high to grind out a well-deserved win, 18-9, 20-21, 19-18, 18-21 in the four quarters.
Ike Iroegbu emerged the highest scorer for D’Tigers with 16pts, five assists and seven rebounds while Emegano contributed 15pts, three assists and two rebounds.
South Sudan’s Nuni Omot was on rampage all night scoring 27points, but his efforts were not enough to rescue his team from going under.
Debutants, Chima Moneke scored 8pts while Amanze Egekeze had 5pts before coming off injured with a medical report being awaited.
Uche Iroegbu made his debut for Nigeria, playing alongside his brother, Ike Iroegbu and scoring 6pts, three rebounds and four steals.
Nigeria has two more games in the qualifiers. They face off against Rwanda on Thursday before taking on Mali in the final game.
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