Ike Diogu, team captain, Senior National Men’s Basketball team, D’Tigers led his team mates to an emphatic 109-66 win against Uganda in their opening game of the FIBA Africa World Basketball qualifiers on Friday in Lagos.
The competition which started on June 29 will end on July 1, at the Indoor Sports Hall in Surulere, Lagos.
All the D’Tigers needed was back to back three pointers from captain, Diogu to settle their nerves in front of a boisterous home crowd.
Diogu’s three points shots kept home fans in ecstasy all through the final buzzer to coast home with the win.
He led the floor with 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the team’s quest to make the FIBA Basketball World championship coming up in China in 2019.
Apart from bench points, Nigeria outscored Uganda 16-10 on fast break points, 15-9 on second chance points and 19-10 on points turnovers.
Obi Emegano added 15 points and another 12 points each from debutants, Tosin Mehinti and Jordan Nwora helped Nigeria to a comfortable sail through.
Head coach Alex Nwora told newsmen after the victory that he had eight debutantes that gave good account of themselves and was switching players based on what Uganda had on the floor.
“I tried to give everyone a run and I am glad they all did well in the end in spite a shaky start,” Nwora said after the game.
The Ugandans in spite falling to a superior D’Tigers had three players in double digits, Jordin Mayes, Deng John Geu and Robinson Odoch scoring 18, 13 and 11 points respectively.
Stephen Omony, the team’s captain, in his reaction, said that the D’Tigers were superior and that it was tough catching up.
“I give credit to the D’Tigers, they played well and were better coordinated, we look forward to other games and hope to get some good results at the end,” Omony said.
In another match Rwanda defeated Mali 82-72 in their opening game.