Rio 2016 Olympics
Michael Umeh led the way for Nigeria in their game against Croatia. Photo Credit: @FIBA

Nigeria’s D’Tigers have given themselves a shot at qualification to the quarterfinals of men’s Basketball, after pulling out a huge upset against Croatia to win their first match of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

It was a game they needed to win, and they gave it their all coming out victors with a 90-76 points triumph against the Europeans who had won two of their previous three games.

This is Nigeria’s second ever win at the Olympic Games, with the first coming against Tunisia four years ago in London.

Now Nigeria will need to beat the host country Brazil in the last group game and hope results go their way in the match involving Lithuania and Croatia if they are to progress to the last 8.

Now Nigeria will need to beat the host country Brazil in the last group game and hope results go their way in the match involving Lithuania and Croatia if they are to progress to the last 8.

Unlike in their first game that they conceded so many outsides shots, D’Tigers were somehow clinical with their own shootings, and made 17 out of 36 attempts which aided their turnaround against Croatia who had beaten Spain and Brazil.

Michael Umeh led with a game high 19 points for Nigeria, making 6 out of his 10 outside shots, and Ike Diogu hit the double again with 10 points and 12 rebounds 8 of which were offensive.

Game changing moment for Nigeria came when in the 4th quarter that Croatia ranked up the pressure and reduced the lead from 14 points to 3, Josh Akognon who contributed 18 points was brave enough to sink a 3-point shot and extended the lead to 6 with just 3 minutes to go.

The game was snuffed out from the Croats when Ebi Ere at the buzzer made a three, followed it up with another as Nigeria ran away with a convincing win.

Bojan Bogdanovic rattled the Nigerians, making a game high 28 points but it was not enough to stop them from losing.

Nigeria will next play Brazil on Monday, hoping that they could the victory that will qualify them for the quarter-finals and possible the first Africans at that stage.

 

Rio 2016 Olympics
Michael Umeh led the way for Nigeria with 19 points in their game against Croatia. Photo Credit: @FIBA

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Very proficient in writing and talking about football, but has now found a new love in Athletics. Just a matter of time before I become a master on things pertaining to the tracks. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at NigerianBulletin and Allsports, Christopher is now a Senior Sports writer at Making of Champions.

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