Nigeria’s D’Tigers were stunned by their Cape Verde counterparts 71-79 in their opening game of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers on Friday in Benguela, Angola.
It was Cape Verde’s third straight win over the No.1 team in Africa, having upset D’Tigers at AfroBasket 2007 before doing it again at AfroBasket 2013 in Abidjan.
The islanders punished the Nigeria’s defense by hitting 12-of-34 shots from beyond arc. Jeff Xavier and Joel Almeida contributed 14 points apiece, and Anderson Correia came off the bench to get away with a game-high 15 points for Cape Verde
It was Nigeria’s third straight defeat at major African tournaments, having lost to Cote d’Ivoire and Uganda in their last two games of AfroBasket 2021 three months.
Nigeria stepped on the floor knowing that they need to return to winning ways after a disappointing AfroBasket 2021 campaign, but facing a highly-motivated Cape Verde team that reached the Semi-Finals of the African Championship three months proved challenging for Nigeria.
The Julius Nwosu-led D’tigers would return to action on Saturday when they lock against highly attacking Mail team.