FIBA pre-qualifier: Nigeria’s D’Tigers face Mali in tight race to 2024 Paris Olympics

D’Tigers lose to Senegal 93-87 in their opening match of the FIBA Olympic pre-qualifying tournament – the first round of playoffs for a ticket to the basketball event of the Paris 2024 games.

D’Tigers head coach, Ogoh Odauda named a starting five of Ike Nduga, UC Iroegbu, Daniel Utomi, Chimezie Metu and Micheal Eric.

The Nigerian starting five quickly got into the groove with back-to-back three-pointers from Metu but the Senegalese eventually settled into the game as Nigeria only edged the first quarter by a point (26-25).

Senegal continued from here thy stopped as they returned for the second quarter the better side to make it a two-point game 46-44 at halftime.

D’Tigers however got their groove back in the third quarter and retook the lead 68-67 but it was the Senegalese who ran riot in the fourth quarter as they opened a 10-point lead on Nigeria’s D’Tigers. A late rally from Nigeria which sought to upturn the looming defeat was not enough as Senegal won by 5 points.

The best performers for D’Tigers on the night were Iroegbu and Metu who led D’Tigers with 24 and 22 points respectively.

Nigeria will play Mali in their second game of Group B on Tuesday.

The competition which is being held in five locations across the world will see the winning team of each tournament advance to the Olympic qualification tournament. Complete sports