D’Tigers Josh Okogie has blamed his side loss to Russia at the ongoing FIBA World Cup in China to loss of concentration in the last quarter of the game.
The Alex Nwora tutored team lost their opening game to the Russian 82-77 having led in most part of the game.
The Russians fought their way back to the game in the last quarter and went onto snatch victory from the D’Tigers who took eight point lead to the final quarter.
While reacting to the painful defeat, Josh Okogie, who led the floor with 18 points, said allowing the Russian score three successful three pointers in the dying moments of the game was the final nail to the the Nigerian team coffin.
“We wanted to make them take contested two pointers, and we’ve been doing that successfully. Then, we allowed them three easy threes. When you allow a team like Russia three threes straight, they will punish you,” Okogie stated.
Russia trailed 71-63 with 6 minutes to go but took of the charge back with a 10-0 run to take the lead. Russia proved the better finishers down the stretch as they connected on seven of eight free throws in the final 32 seconds and benefited from an unsportsmanlike foul on Okogie with 10.6 seconds to play.
Russia also converted 11 of 27 three-pointers for 41 per cent while Nigeria lagged behind at 7 of 21 for 33 per cent. Russia also forced Nigeria into 21 turnovers.
Nigeria’s next game is against Argentina who they play on Monday.