Nigeria’s D’Tigers Power On In Afrobasket
Nigeria’s senior men basketball team, the D’Tigers, on Thursday whipped Cameroon 106-91 points to move into the semi-finals at the 2017 Men’s AfroBasket Championship in Tunisia.
They will be joined by Morocco (who defeated Egypt 66-62), Tunisia (81-60 over DR Congo) and favourites Senegal, who knocked out 11-time champions Angola 66-57.
The Nigerian side started off early, winning the first quarter 25-18 points, and consolidating on this with a 27-25 points win in the second quarter.
The Cameroonians fought back to win 27-23 in the third quarter, but it was not enough to upstage the D’Tigers who still led 75-70.
The Nigerian charge to the semifinals was led by former Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors forward Ike Diogu. Injuries prevented him from playing any part in the 2015 triumph, although he was on the roster. Diogu averaged 22.3ppg at the group stage and led his team with 28 points, adding nine rebounds in the victory over Cameroon.
Ikechukwu Nwamu added 25 points and seven assists, and Brian Mbamalu scored 22 points. Daniel Ochefu of Washington Wizards, the only active NBA player on the Nigeria roster, had a relatively quiet offensive game. He scored eight points, but led the team with 10 boards.
Cameroon’s top performer was Benoit Mbala, who scored 32 points, 10 rebounds, one assist and three steals, but he was unable to help his team survive the claws of D’Tigers.
Nigeria will take on Senegal in the semi-finals in Tunis.
The D’Tigers are the competition’s defending champions.