Ike Diogu came up with a huge performance to inspire the defending champions Nigeria to a Group A 78-77 triumph over Cote d’Ivoire in Rades, on the outskirts of Tunis.
During his 33 minutes on the court, Diogu did a bit of everything for Nigeria.
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Not only he led all scorers with a game-high 31 points, but he also finished with eight rebounds as Nigeria saw off a resilient Cote d’Ivoire side, who led 74-69 with three minutes remaining.
The Nigerian team also known as D’Tigers,played their first Group A match against Cote d’Ivoire in Tunisia on Friday.
During the match, the two sides keenly contested for a victory even when it was still a preliminary game but D’Tigers won the first quarter 17-11 points.
At the end of second quarter, D’Tigers won 42-33 points while the third quarter ended 53-50points against Cote d’Ivoire.
Ike Diogu of D’Tigers featured as the topmost player of the match, scoring 31 points with eight rebounds, supported by other team mates especially, Ikenna Iroegbu, Bryant Mbamalu and Ayodeji Akindele during the match.
However, Michael Toti of Cote d’Ivoire emerged the top performer for his team having scored eight points; four rebounds and; four assists.
Toti was supported to get a near victory against Nigeria by the likes of Eric Tape who scored 12 points;Tiegbe Bamba among others.
Nigeria would play its next match on Saturday against Mali while Cote d’Ivoire would play against Democratic Republic of Congo on same day.
Nigeria’s senior women team, D’Tigress, last Sunday restored the nation’s lost glory in the Afrobasket by defeating defending champions, Senegal to clinch the title for the third time after 12 years.
Culled from FIBA
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