15th August, 2016
Nigeria’s D’Tigers on Monday crashed out of the ongoing Rio Olympics men basketball event, losing 69-86 to hosts Brazil.
The team showed some signs of exploit in the early minutes of the game but succumbed and never regained its focus from the second quarter of the game.
Alade Aminu, Ike Diogu, Uzoh Ben, Chamberlin Oguchi were all at their best as Nigeria dominated proceedings in the first quarter, having led 16-15.
The tide turned around in the second quarter when D’Tigers were forced to commit some fouls, leading to free throws which the Brazilians converted.
Brazilian point guard Raulzinho Neto, kept D’Tigers on check as the hosts made 18 turnovers against Nigeria’s 11 to rally to a 42-31 lead at the end of the second quarter.
D’Tigers came close to stealing the show in the third quarter but the combination of Chicago Bulls Felicio Cristiano and Houston Rockets forward Nene, ensured the Nigerians did not get more opportunities to shoot from the centre.
The third quarter, however, ended 59-52 in favour of the hosts.
The Brazilians continued their dominance and produced 10 steals against Nigeria’s three to end the last quarter 86-69.
The defeat ensured D’Tigers had no chance of progressing in the Olympics after raising the hopes of Nigerians with a stunning 90-76 defeat against Croatia.
The defeat of Croatia was Nigeria’s first win of the Olympics basketball event after a string of disappointing defeats to Argentina, Lithuania and Spain in their first, second and third games.