Nigeria secured its second Afrobasket victory with a 71-55 win against Kenya in Rwanda as they set their sight on an automatic quarter finals ticket
D’Tigers came out with a 20-8 win in the first quarter while Kenya picked the second quarter 18-14pts but that was not enough to stop Nigeria finishing the first half 34-26.
Uzodinma Utomi took it from where he left off against Mali scoring 17pts to lead the side against a determined Kenya.
Jeremiah Mordi came off the bench to have a fantastic game offensively and defensively with a total of 10pts and 5 rebounds hassling the Kenyans all around the floor.
TK Edogi scored 9 points, 4rebounds and 1 assist while Jordan Ogundiran had 9pts with an impressive 75% field goal conversion.
Coach Mike Brown at the press conference emphasised on the need to improve as a team most especially defensively.
“I think we had some good shots offensively tonight that didn’t go in but our effort was inconsistent offensively and I thought that was what hurt us more”.
Brown said the team played better in the second half despite a good defensive effort from Kenya.
“When defense stiffens up, we get tighter or better. All we have to do is drive the basketball. When we drive the basketball, the defence will collapse and if we are unselfish, which the guys have been most part, we make the right pass and the floor is spaced, we are going to get good shots offensively.”
Reacting further, Brown said, “We don’t want people to believe in us. We believe in us and that is all that matters. We haven’t played well. We played better in the second half though, I thought as a team. Even in the first game we did not play real good and we played better in the first game than the second game”
“We can be better, we believe in ourselves and we believe we can continue to get better as the tournament goes along”, Brown said.
Nigeria will play Côte d’Ivoire on Sunday in its last group game.