Nigeria’s men national basketball team, D’Tigers, started their 2021 Afrobasket championship in Kigali capital of Rwanda on a winning note yesterday with a dominant 81-73 points win against Mali.
The Nigerian team, captained by Stephen Domingo, gave a good account of themselves through out the duration of the game.
After running to a 28-12 points lead in the first quarter, fatigue induced turnovers and wayward shooting saw the Malians losing points.
D’Tigers were able to cling to a 44-43points lead heading into halftime.
The third quarter saw the Mike Brown inspired side shooting themselves to a 71-53pts lead, as they did enough to hold off the marauding Malians in the fourth quarter to close out the game.
Benjamin Emelogu, who helped the team with 18 points, four assists and eight rebounds, had an amazing day on the court posting a 60.0 percent accuracy from the three point line where he got all his points from 10 attempts.
Captain of D’Tigers, Domingo, who was recently with the San Antonio Spurs during the NBA Summer League, added 16 points, five assists and five rebounds.
Speaking after the game, coach Brown praised the players for holding their heads in the first game against a typical physical African team.
16 teams are taking part in the Afrobasketball championship, which started on August 24 and will end on September 5.