Nigeria’s men senior basketball team, D’Tigers, capped an impressive run at the just-concluded round of qualifiers for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup finishing undefeated.
The qualifiers, held in Bamako, Mali, saw the D’Tigers joining basketball powerhouses, Tunisia and Angola to maintain 100 per cent record so far.
In their last group game during the first-leg matches, Nigeria defeated hosts, Mali, 82-59 in Group B of the African Qualifiers in front of a home crowd, making them one of only three teams yet to lose a game in the race for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China.
The D’Tigers had previously cruised to victory against Uganda and Rwanda by an average of 33-point wins margin in the three-day contest.
Team captain Ike Diogu and Michael Efevberha, were in inspiring form as Nigeria closed Group B’s first-leg with three wins in as many games while Uganda, Mali and Rwanda finished with a 1-2 record each.
Meanwhile in Group D played in the Mozambican capital of Maputo, Senegal beat the hosts 60-52 while the Central African Republic denied Cote d’Ivoire 63-62 in overtime.
Senegal and Mozambique share the lead of the group, a 2-1 record each, while CAR and Cote d’Ivoire closed the group’s first-leg with a 1-2 record apiece.
According to information contained on FIBA Africa website, the third window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers returns in late June and early July for the second-leg of Groups A-D.
Five FIBA World Cup tickets are at stake for the continent’s countries to reach the first-ever 32-team FIBA Basketball World Cup taking place in China from August 30 to September 15, 2019.
“The African Qualifiers consist of 12 tournaments played across six windows. The First Round sees four groups of four teams each face one another over the course of two legs.
“The top three teams from each group advance to the Second Round, where the 12 qualified teams are divided in two groups (E and F) of six teams each.
“The top two teams from groups E and F and the best third-ranked team will secure their tickets for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019,” the FIBA Africa website stated. (NAN)