Nigeria men’s basketball team have maintained their unbeaten 5-0 run following a 64-51 victory over Rwanda at the ongoing 2021 FIBA Afrobasket qualifiers in Tunisia.
Keith Omoerah who led the scorers chart scoring 13 points and 6 rebounds while debutant Abdul-Malik Abu came off the bench to contribute 9 points, 3 rebounds and 1 steal as the Nigerians reaffirmed its dominance on the continent.
Rwanda who will be hosting the next Afrobasket outscored Nigeria 22-14, 9-16 to head into half time with a 31-30 point’s advantage.
D’Tigers showed their grit in the second half with some impressive defensive and offensive work to neutralize their opponent (14-10, 20-10) and close out the game.
Chima Moneke continued his fairytale run with the team scoring 8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals while Ike Iroegbu dropped 9 points and caught 7 rebounds.
In his post-match conference, stand-in Head Coach, Mfon Udofia praised his team for their resilience.
He said that the victory was a pointer to the overall quality of the team with the bench contributing a total of 3 points and 8 assists.
“It’s a tale of two halves. We came out after a slow start; we picked it up, settled down, got stops and got the win,” he said.
One of the most experienced players in the team, Ben Uzoh said he never expected Rwanda to just roll over and give the team an easy passage.
“Everytime we take to the court, especially here in Africa, everybody wants to give us their best shots. Hats off to the way Rwanda played in the first half, but hats off more for us to regroup during the half time and come out to really play Nigerian basketball. I am glad we came out victorious”.
With the 2021 Afrobasket ticket already secured, Nigeria top group B and will face Mali as the Nigerians seek to end the qualifying series unbeaten.