The Nation’s basketball team D’Tigers opened their campaign in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers in Kigali Rwanda on Friday on a losing note.
The Nigerian side were humbled by Cape Verde 79-70 who now boasts of two wins against their Nigerian counterparts in the qualifying series.
In the first meeting in 2021 in Angola, Cape Verde triumphed over D’Tigers 79-71.
Friday’s clash, after winning the first quarter 15-14 points, Cape Verde took charge in the second quarter, 25-11 to head into halftime with a 39-26pts lead.
D’Tigers’ performance in the second quarter haunted the team despite a spirited effort in the second half, 21-17, 17-17pts
Ikenna Ndugba and Christian Mekowulu led the scoring for D’Tigers and Uchenna Iroegbu contributed 12 points. Mekowulu picked 13 rebounds while Benjamin Emelogu had 4.
Chimezie Metu posted a double-double performance with 10 points and 10 rebounds which unfortunately was not enough to secure the win for D’Tigers.
After four rounds of games, Cape Verde top Group A on six points while D’Tigers also on six points are second.
In third position is Uganda also on six points and Mali are fourth on five points.
Meanwhile, D’Tigers’ game against Mali on Saturday hangs in the balance after the West Africans failed to show up for their game with Uganda.
As a result of Mali’s failure to make an appearance, Uganda were awarded a 20-0 win.
The qualifiers will determine the five African teams that will participate at the 2023 FIBA World Cup in Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia from 25 August to 10 September.