D’Tigers coach, Alex Nwora says he is proud of his team’s fighting spirit during their defeat to Cote d’ivoire in a FIBA World Cup qualifier on Friday night.
The Nigerian men suffered their first loss at the on-going 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers by 72 points to 46.
The team trailed in all four quarters – 10-14. 9-14, 12-27, 15-17 – and handed coach Nwora his heaviest defeat since taking charge in 2017.
D’Tigers had been on a nine-game unbeaten run before the defeat, by which they became the first team to qualify for the FIBA tournament billed to hold in China.
In his post match reaction, Nwora commended the boys for putting up a decent show despite the fatigue and little time together in camp for training.
He said the Ivoirians did a good job in containing his team’s offense after the team only managed to score just a single 3 point shot throughout the game saying it was going to be tough for any team to win with such poor shooting record.
“I know we are fighters, Ivory Coast played at home, they had their home support and that got to us a little bit too,” said Nwora.
“I am proud of the way we fought but we could have done more to represent Nigeria better but we have 2 more games to regain our respect in Africa and hopefully we will do a better job tomorrow against Central Africa.”
Meanwhile, D’Tigers returnee, Ekene Ibekwe was the team’s top performer with 8 points, 10 rebounds and 2 steals while team captain, Ike Diogu was the highest scorer with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
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