The Nigeria national men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, suffered an agonising 70-67 defeat against Angola on Sunday.
Sunday’s game was D’Tigers’ last Group E tie at the ongoing FIBA Basketball World Cup African qualifying window.
Though Coach Mfon Udoh’s men wanted victory badly at the Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan, they fell short by three points.
Having started the window with a 78-66 loss to the Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire on Friday night, D’Tigers bounced back with an 80-79 victory against Guinea on Saturday to brighten their qualification quest.
Against Angola, D’Tigers didn’t start well enough as they had a two-point deficit; losing the first quarter 18-16.
There was an improved display from the D’Tigers in the second quarter as they won that 13-9 to head into halftime with a 29-27 lead.
While the Third Quarter was the turning point for D’Tigers against Guinea, it turned out to be their albatross against Angola, who romped to a 23-16 win in the third quarter.
Though D’Tigers won the fourth quarter 22-20, it wasn’t enough to save them from defeat as Angola narrowly carried the day with a 70-67 points victory.
With Sunday’s defeat, D’Tigers remain at the base of the standings in Group E with their qualification quest for the next year’s World Cup increasingly looking more difficult.
D’Tigers will seek to qualify in the last window next February when they will try to nick the last African ticket to the World Cup taking place from 25 August to 10 September in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines.