Nigeria’s D’Tigers have returned to winning ways by narrowly defeating Mali 72-70 in the second qualification game on Saturday.
The Nigerian side won the first quarter 16-15 but lost the second quarter 14-24. They took control in the third and fourth quarters respectively which they won 23-16, 19-15.
It will be noted that the 2015 African champions fell 71-79 to Cape Verde on Friday morning at the Benguela, Pavilhão Multiusos Acácias Rubras.
This was amid the crisis rocking the Nigeria Basketball Federation over who takes charge of the federation’s activities after elections failed to hold as scheduled on October 30.
It was Cape Verde’s third straight win over the No.1 team in Africa, having upset D’Tigers at AfroBasket 2007 before doing it again at AfroBasket 2013 in Abidjan.
It was also Nigeria’s third straight defeat at major African tournaments, having lost to Ivory Coast and Uganda in their last two games of AfroBasket 2021 three months
The victory means that D’Tigers emerged victorious 72-70 and have renewed their hopes of of qualifying for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup that will take place in Indonesia, Japan and Philippines from August 25 – September 10, 2023.
The Julius Nwosu boys will hope to further strengthen their qualification chances ahead of today’s clash with Uganda.
Nigeria currently occupy the second spot behind Mali with a difference of -6 on the log table.