Nigeria’s male basketball team, D’Tigers pick Tokyo 2020 Olympics ticket
By Taiwo Adelu
London, Sep 9, 2019 (AltAfrica) -Nigeria’s senior basketball male team, D’Tigers defied all odds to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games on Sunday after beating China the hosts of the FIBA Men’s World Cup 86-73 points in their second classification game at the Guangzhou Gymnasium.
The Nigerian team had crashed out of the ongoing World Cup after losing group matches to Argentina and Russia. They, however, had two classification matches to play for them to have the opportunity to feature in the basketball event of Tokyo Olympics.
These, they did excellently well as they beat African foes, Cote d’Ivoire 86-83 points on Friday and sealed the Olympic ticket with a resounding victory over hosts, China in a tough duel that ended in 86-73 points.
Alternativeafrica.com reports that the Nigerians, who lost the first quarter of the match 19-21 points to China, rallied back in the second quarter with 16-10 points in the first half of the crucial encounter.
D’Tigers took the game out of the Chinese team in the second half with another of 25-20 points in the third quarter, while the fourth quarter was also a win for the Nigerian team with a 26-22 points.
D’Tigers finished among the top teams in the 17-32 classifications of the World Cup and sealed their place in Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Small guard, Okogie Josh of Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA was the top scorer for D’Tigers, recording 19 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists, while Yi Jianlian of China was the highest scorer in the game with 27 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.