D'Tigers Rue Defeat To Lithuania

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Players and officials of Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’Tigers are not happy to lose Lithuania in their second Group A match of the Olympic Games yesterday.

Olumide Oyedeji-led team succumbed to the superior power of the European giants by 53-72 points, to place their qualification for the quarter final on a tightrope.

Coach of the Nigerian team, Ayo Bakare rued his team’s defeat on injuries and sickness sustained by some players, adding that technical lapses at a crucial point of the match were also responsible for the loss.

“It was actually a close result as we played well and tried our best. But we have had a couple of injuries and sickness to deal with in the past two weeks, and this affected our depth,” he told News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

The coach said the situation ensured the technical crew could not rotate as many players as it would have wanted during the match.

“It is not just about Ade Dagunduro, who got injured during the game, but Ekene Ibekwe is still down with sickness, just like some two or three others that cannot step onto the court.

“In addition to this, we couldn’t keep up with the Lithuanians’ pace and we committed some mistakes too,” he said.

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America based forward, Ike Diogu, reflecting on the match said: “It is a disappointing lost against a team we beat three weeks ago in Venezuela.

“We are not going to dwell on the defeat but rather correct our mistakes and focus on the next match against the defending champions, USA on Thursday.”

Shooting guard, Tony Skinn believes D’Tigers lost to superior opponents, who were helped by “our own mistakes’’.

“They were a better team than we were out there, but it was made worse by the fact that we didn’t make things easy for ourselves,” he said.

“We came out well in the first quarter, but couldn’t keep it up. It was a game of defence, but we failed to do our bit and we got punished for that.

“We should have done better than we did. We’ve got to learn how to play well on both the offensive and the defensive,” he said.

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