Nigeria’s D’Tigers lost 81-94 to Argentina on Monday in their second Group B game at the ongoing FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup in China.
The defeat was Nigeria’s second consecutive loss at the tournament, having lost the opening game 77-82 to Russia on Saturday.
D’tigers put up a good fight with Josh Okogie emerging as the top performer for the team with 18 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds but it was not enough to overpower the Argentines.
D’Tigers, being debutants at the event, were hoping to outclass the number five ranked Argentines at the Wuhan Sports Centre to move to the second round.
The first quarter, however, ended in favour of the South Americans 28-17, while a resilient side captained by Ike Diogu pushed on to make a comeback and they led 36-35 in the second quarter.
The experience of Argentina’s Luis Scola came to the fore, as the team took an 11-point lead at the end of the third quarter, to finish victorious with 94 points.
Scola, however, made history at the end of the game, climbing to second place in the all-time FIBA World Cup scoring list with 611 career points.
Head coach, Alex Nwora said “I’m proud of these guys. They fought. We’re still one of the best teams in Africa but we haven’t shown it. We will with time. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Argentina have now booked a spot in the second round after two wins against South Korea and Nigeria.
Nigeria will face South Korea on Wednesday in their third group stage match at the competition which holds from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15 in China.