Nigeria’s men’s basketball team D’Tigers on Friday began their quest for qualification for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup with a 102-86 win over Uganda in their first round Group B qualifying tournament in Mali.
The Ike Diogu captained side will also play Rwanda (on Saturday) and hosts Mali (on Sunday) in the group. The second round of the qualifiers will be played in June.
The top five teams at the end of the qualifiers qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
In Friday’s game, Nigeria started slow as the Ugandans took the first quarter 17-11 but Nigeria bounced back and took the remaining three quarters. They won the second quarter 36-29 before taking the third quarter 28-20 and the last quarter 27-20.
New D’Tigers power forward Michael Efevberha combined well with Diogu as he weighed in 20 points and four rebounds while the captain accounted for 19 points, one assist and seven rebounds.
Ben Uzoh weighed in 15 points while Obi Emegano accounted for 14 points and Bryant Mbamalu scored 11 points.
Jimmy Enabu was the star for the Ugandans as he weighed in 27 points with two assists while Robinson Odoch followed with 25 points and two rebounds.
Nigeria converted 69.23 per cent of their two-point field goal against Uganda’s 56.25 per cent. The Ugandans converted 50 per cent of their three-point field goals against Nigeria’s 57.89 per cent.
Uganda had 14 points from their bench while Nigeria had 35.
D’Tigers converted 65.22 per cent of their free throws but Uganda converted 50 per cent of theirs.