OPENING day of the African basketball championship (Afrobasket) qualifiers started in electrifying fashion in Monastir with Nigeria staking their claim as Africa’s finest.
Nigeria prevailed as winners (75-70) against an impressive South Sudan team in the latter’s first continental competition. D’Tigers (Nigeria national men’s team) had to pry the victory away from the determined South Sudan team coached by former National Basketball Association (NBA) All-star Luol Deng.
Currently ranked number one in Africa, under the guidance of new head coach Mdon Udofia, Nigeria booked their ticket to the main Afrobasket showcase scheduled for late 2021. Point guard Ike Iroegbu led the team with 16 points, 5 assists and 7 rebounds.
Nigeria face bottom of the group Rwanda next.
Mali emerged as 76-61 victors against Rwanda in their Afrobasket qualifying opening fixture. Nanta Diarra led the team with 12 points as Mali dominated throughout all four quarters. Mali will face Deng’s South Sudan in their next game.