Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Nigeria’s D’Tigers stopped by Australia

The high-flying Nigerian D’Tigers suffered heavy defeat against Australia in their last exhibition game before the Olympics.

• July 14, 2021

D’Tigers basketball team was brought back to earth by a humiliating defeat to Australia in the last exhibition game before the Olympics, losing by 39 points.

The Nigerian team was riding on a high going into this game with Australia after beating number one ranked U.S. and blowing out fourth ranked Argentina Tuesday night’s loss to Australia highlighted the reality that the team must be on its toes going into the Olympics because all the seeded teams will be ready.

Coach Mike Brown changed the starting lineup for this game in attempt to give some players more minutes and tinker with the system a bit as well.

Josh Okojie and Gabe Nnamdi kept their starring roles while Jahlil Okafor, Miye Oni and Chimezie Metu came in for Ike Nwamu, Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala.

Australia on the other hand rested their biggest stars, replacing Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova & Aaron Baynes with some of the teams younger stars.

The game started slowly for D’Tigers and by the end of the first quarter, the score was 26-13. By half time it was 49-29. Things got worse in the third quarter and the game was over with Nigeria trailing 84-46 heading into the fourth quarter.

The team just never got into rhythm and the end score of 108 – 69 was a disappointing way to end such an impressive exhibition campaign.

There’s a lot of positives to take from the experience and the squad has rallied a lot of support especially via a savvy social media campaign which has really connected and energised support from Nigerians everywhere. They’d be looking to take the overall momentum into the Olympic Games.

There will be a chance to get revenge on Australia when we meet them in the first game of the group stage on July 25. That game will be followed up with Germany on July 28 and then the group stage will be rounded up against Italy on July 31.

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