Nigeria senior men’s basketball team, D’Tigers have suffered an 84- 67 defeat to the Boomers of Australia in its opening game of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In the first quarter, Skipper Nnamdi Vincent levelled it at 12-12 for Nigeria, but Patty Mills made his second 3 points shot in the quarter to take Australia 3 up on Nigeria as they go on a 7-0 run. Caleb Agada drew a foul, then made missed both free throws.
Obi Emegano was nothing short of thrilling, he had 3 points shot to take Nigeria 3 up in the second quarter and a personal tally of 9 points. Joe Ingles made a layup then drew a foul.
The game was initially close, much closer than when the two sides last met two weeks ago in Las Vegas. Precious Achiuwa came to the party. Two free throws were made to take Nigeria 4 points up, but the Boomers have levelled. D’tigers went into the halftime break down three points.
6-0 start for Australia to the third quarter, skipper Nnamdi Gabe Vincent draws a foul and is awarded three free throws. He made two of those and D’tigers went down by 7.
Turnovers and missed shots. The Boomers capitalised on these from the D’Tigers as they initially opened an 11 points lead on Nigeria. But it went down to 6 points.
Jordan Nwora gradually grew into the game. He made a layup, then drew a foul in the process to take his tally to 10 points.
Those Free Throws misses cost Nigeria at the end of the day. 12/22 made, D’tigers end the third quarter trailing Australia by 6 points.
Nigeria had a good start to the last quarter, Josh Okogie assists Caleb Agada for a layup, but Patty Mills took the Boomers 7 points with 3 points shot. Down 5 after Chimezie Metu found the bucket, but 8 up to Australia
Australia opened their biggest lead in the game, Patty Mills ran the show with a game-high 25 points. The Boomers lead by 14.
D’Tigers played a very good three quarters, stayed in it, and were down by just 6 points. But they will look back and particularly rue those missed Free Throws (12/25). They go again on Wednesday against Germany.
Meanwhile, in the other game Group B match, Italy defeated Germany 92-82 to get a victory that could give them a chance to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Nigeria will play Germany on Wednesday.