The Nigerian national basketball team, the D’Tigers, recovered from an embarrassing defeat by Cote d’Ivoire to record a comfortable 75-59 points win against the Central African Republic on Saturday.
It was the D’Tigers second game of the final round of qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The Nigerians were on Friday humiliated 46-72 by the hosts in their opening game at the Palais Des Sports de Treichville.
But againtst their central African opponents, D’Tigers were more purposeful, with team captain, Ike Diogu, dictating the game after a near-disastrous outing against Cote d’Ivoire.
Both teams shared the spoils in the first quarter with 14 points apiece.
However, Nigeria was not ready to lose two consecutive games at the qualifiers, having won all nine before their defeat to Cote d’Ivoire.
The second quarter therefore ended 18-11 points in favour of the group leaders.
The third quarter saw Nigeria extend their lead, with a 21-15 points win.
The Central African Republic were more competitive in the final quarter, but thanks to Diogu Nigeria was able to share equal 19-19 points with the central Africans.
Diogu, with 22 points, nine rebounds and two assists, was by far Nigeria’s most outstanding player on the night.
Johndre Jefferson basketted 16 points and managed two rebounds to be Central African Republic’s top performer.
Nigeria’s final game is on Sunday against Senegal, who have also booked a ticket for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.