Nigeria’s senior men’s national basketball team, D’Tigers, began their quest to secure a spot in the 2024 Olympic Games on Monday, August 14, 2023.
The team showcased their skills in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Eko Convention Center.
The game started with D’Tigers dominating the court, impressing the crowd with their performance. However, Senegal managed to make a comeback towards the end of the first quarter, narrowing the score to 25-26.
In the second quarter, D’Tigers’ Head Coach Oga Odaudu made some strategic changes, but Senegal took advantage and gained momentum. Despite D’Tigers’ efforts to reduce the deficit, they went into halftime trailing 46-44.
The third quarter was an intense battle, with both teams fighting for the lead. D’Tigers showed their resilience and managed to claw their way back, taking a slim 68-67 lead.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Senegal launched a decisive run, giving them a seven-point advantage. D’Tigers fought back, but were unable to catch up as Senegal displayed exceptional accuracy from beyond the arc.
Although players like Anosike and Metu made impressive three-point shots in the closing moments, it wasn’t enough to overcome the double-digit deficit. Senegal held their nerve and secured the victory with clutch free throws, winning by six points.
To keep their hopes alive, D’Tigers must now defeat Mali in their second group game. A win in this crucial match will give them a chance to advance to the knockout stages of the Olympic qualification tournament.