Rio 2016
Nigeria's Point Guard, Michael Umeh trying to go past Spain's Center, Pau Gasol, Photo Credit : @FIBA

In game laden with so many comebacks, Nigeria’s D’Tigers lost their third match of Rio 2016 Olympics to Spain who won by 96-87 points.

At some point it looked like an upset was on the cards after Nigeria who trailed by as much as 14 points from the first quarter, somehow went in front to lead 66-65 in the third.

However, just like in the game against Lithuania, D’Tigers couldn’t keep or further extend their lead, rather giving out two quick turnovers that saw Spain run out with back to back two points apiece.

Prior to the game, neither Nigeria nor Spain had won any of their first two matches and needed to win the third in order to have a chance of progressing to the quarterfinals of the Olympics.

Chamberlain Oguchi finally found his shooting range for Nigeria at this competition, making a game high 24 points, which saw him make 7 outside shots from the 12 he attempted. He further added 3 free throws which accounted for his tally.

Most of the problem Nigeria had in the game, was not having much answers to San Antonio Spurs Centre & Power Forward, Pau Gasol who led for the Spaniards with 16 points and 7 rebounds.

Ben Uzoh inspired hope for Nigeria in the dying stages of the 3rd quarter, making five points then that saw D’Tigers take the lead, but a combination of factors in the fourth saw them not consolidate.

When Alade Aminu blocked a shot, he was celebrating and lost concentration as Gasol picked up the ball to make 2 points and draw a foul in the process, converting the free throws. Aminu was later fouled out and his presence was missed, just when he was getting in the game going toe to toe with Gasol.

Although D’Tigers might have lost by yet another 9-point game, they will find some encouragement that they are improving and getting closer to the world’s best teams.

Spain are ranked at number 2 in the world, but with the way Nigeria played against them and Lithuania, D’Tigers can have self belief that they can hold their own against some of the best.

Rio 2016
Nigeria’s Point Guard, Michael Umeh trying to go past Spain’s Center, Pau Gasol, Photo Credit : @FIBA

Athletics coverage was a discovery, having to move away from regularly writing about Football. Although it was initially daunting, but now being an authority in it makes the past effort worthwhile. From travelling on the same international flight with Nigerian athletes, to knowing you could easily interview: World Record holder Tobi Amusan, then Ese Brume, I have cut my teeth in this beat earning the trust of Athletics sources. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at Ringier media Nigeria, Chris is a Senior Sports writer, Photographer & Community manager at Making of Champions.


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