D’Tigers tipped off their 2021 Afrobasket qualifiers with a comfortable 76-56 win over South Sudan at the Kigali Arena on Thursday.
The 2015 African champions took the first quarter 22-17 with the North Africans going head-to-head with their more illustrious opponents but the Nigerians were ruthless in the second quarter winning 24-12 to head into the first half break with a 17-point lead, finishing the half 46-29.
South Sudan fought back in the third quarter to reduce the deficit to 20-15 but D’Tigers showed their superiority in the final quarter taking the game 15-7 to win 76-56 with a 20-point margin.
Team captain, Ike Diogu, says the win was important for the players’ confidence.
“It was very important to win our first game, this is the first time we’ve been together as a group, practice time has been limited so this is actually our first time of action, it was good to get our feet wet,” Diogu said at the post match press conference.
Head coach of the team, Mike Brown said, “For two no contact practices, they did a good job adapting to my style and I think they did very well, there are obviously things you can always clean up on. It is a good win for us.”