W’Cup qualifiers: D’Tigers beat Uganda 95-69, top Group A
Ike Diogu powered D’Tigers to a 95-69 win over Uganda to close the first window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers at the Pavilhão Multiusos Acácias Rubras in Angola on Sunday.
Nigeria needing a win to top the group were ruthless from the tip-off taking the first quarter 25-18. The team returned for the second quarter with the same intensity as they recorded a 28-19 lead in the second quarter to head into the halftime break with a 16 point lead (53-37).
Despite being a low-scoring quarter, D’Tigers did not take their foot off the gas in the third winning 14-8. The Ugandan’s hopes of a comeback in the fourth quarter was matched by the Nigerians as the former African champions took the game 28-24 to wrap off a thrilling encounter with a 95-69 statement win over their East African counterparts.
Diogu capped what has been an impressive tournament with 27 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block with a +34 efficiency rating.
Omotayo Ogundiran who scored 19 points in the win over Mali on Saturday contributed 11 points against the Ugandans. He added four assists and two steams while Keith Omoerah also scored 11 points. He also put up three assists and five rebounds and one steal.
Assistant captain Ben Uzoh scored 10 points, eight assists, three rebounds, one steal and seven turnovers in the game.
The team scored 50 per cent of their attempts from beyond the three-point arc while converting 78.60 per cent of their free throws.
In the other group encounter, Mali beat Cape Verde 64-58 to record their second win of the competition to sit second of the Group A log behind Nigeria also on five points while Uganda and Cape Verde recorded one win apiece.