Basketball: Nigeria Defeats China, Qualifies for 2020 Olympic Games
Nigeria’s D’Tigers picked Africa’s sole ticket to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after beating host nation, China 86-73 in their final 2019 FIBA World Cup classification game in Guanzghou on Sunday, reports Completesports.com.
Alex Nwora’s men grinded out their third win at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in a difficult way, silencing the vociferous home fans that dominated the sellout crowd inside the Guanzghou Gymnasium.
Nwora named an unchanged line-up from the side that defeated Ivory Coast in the previous game with Ben Uzoh, Ike Diogu, Ekpe Udoh, Josh Okogie and Aminu Al-Farouq all starting.
Josh Okogie emerged the best performer for D’Tigers. The Minnesota Timberwolves guard scores 19 points. He also recorded five rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
D’Tigers trailed after the first quarter going behind 21-19. However, the Alex Nwora’s men fought harder and the remaining three quarters; 16 – 10 (2nd Q), 25 -20 (3rd Q) and 26 -22 (4th Q)
D’Tigers led 35-31 at the end of the first half with Udoh and Farouq proving their class.
The competitive nature of the game continued in the second half of game, but the Nigerians were top of the tight competition.
D’Tigers recorded the biggest lead of the game – a 13 point difference. China’s biggest lead over Nigeria was seven.
Nigeria’s biggest scoring run was 75-63, against China’s 17-10.
China 73 – 86 Nigeria
In the end, D’Tiger’s prevailed 86-73 and will now feature at the 2020 Olympic Games after finishing tops in the Classidication Group M of the 2019 FIBA World Cup on eight points.
China finished second behind Nigeria on seven points. South Korea finished third on six points while Cote d’Ivoire (5 points) brought up the rear .