4th September, 2019
Nigeria smashed South Korea 108-66 in Wuhan on Wednesday to snatch its first win in Group B but still miss out the chance of advancing to the round of 16 at the ongoing FIBA World Cup.
Having suffered two consecutive losses each before Wednesday’s game, both teams ran out of possibilities to finish top two in the group to qualify for the last 16.
The two sides will next move to Guangzhou and play the classifications starting Saturday.
In Wednesday’s play, former NBA player Ike Diogu earned 16 points and six rebounds for Nigeria, and Chimezie Metu added 15 points plus nine rebounds.
Thanks to Lee Junghyun and naturalized center Ra Guna, South Korea had a strong start into the game, leading by five points for their most in the first period.
Nigeria didn’t find its rhythm until the end of the first quarter through Ike Iroegbu’s layup. Josh Okogie and Diogu then helped the team score a 10-0 run in the midway of the second period, building a two-digit advantage.
The Nigerians ended the first half 49-31 in front, and their skills and physical advantages made the game beyond the Koreans’ reach in the third quarter
Another African group, Angola also advanced to the classification round on Wednesday.
Angola playing in Foshan needed five extra minutes to beat Philippines 84-81 in the last game of Group D at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the win was the Angolans’ first in the 32-team tournament, helping them to advance to the Classification Round.
Angola, who are one of the competition’s African representatives, will now move to Beijing on the back of a 1-2 mark while Philippines conceded their third defeat in as many games.
Six Angolan players scored in double digits during the game, including Valdelicio Joaquim who finished with a team-high 20 points.
Jacques Conceicao, Carlos Morais and Reggie Moore combined for 33 points and Yanick Moreira added a double-double 12 points and 15 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Andray Blatche came up with yet another double-double performance finishing with a game-high 23 points and added 12 rebounds to his account.
Jaymar Perez hit 3-for-8 from beyond the arc, finishing with 17 points in the losing cause.
The turning point of the game was when, trailing 75-76, Angola’s head coach Will Voigt called a timeout.
It helped to draw a three-point play by Reggie Moore which put the Angolans in front 78-76, and the former African champions never trailed again, sealing a much-awaited win.
While Nigeria beat South Korea 108-66, Tunisia lost 64-67 to Puerto Rico in their last group games respectively.
Africa is also being represented at the World Cup by Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal.