Nigeria’s D’Tigers have qualified for the semifinals of the 2017 Afrobasket Championships in Tunisia, after producing their best performance to see off Cameroon in their quarterfinal match on Thursday.
The defending champions were never in danger of relinquishing their lead as they did in the group stages against Democratic Republic of Congo, rather they hit three figures to beat Cameroon by 106-91 points.
Each time the Cameroonians looked like they could come back in the game especially when they reduced it to just 5 points at the end of the 3rd quarter, but the Nigerians didn’t cave in rather stretched their lead.
The game changing moment came at the start of the 4th quarter when Nigeria went on a 10-0 run that led Cameroon to call for a timeout, but the latter weren’t able to claw their way back.
It’s really hard to call who Nigeria’s best player was, as all the players both off the bench contributed points that earned them the win. Ike Nwamu was so good that he made 7 of 9 shots he attempted from outside the arc, finishing with 25 points and 7 assists. In fact virtually all those points came in the last quarter.
Ike Diogu led by example for Nigeria, making 28 points and 9 rebounds with 7/12 FG, converting 5/6 of 3 point shots attempted in the game.
Bryant Mbamalu was another big performer for D’Tigers with a tally of 22 points and 4 rebounds. Followed by Deji Akindele with 13 points and also Ike Iroegbu with the 7 assists that set up his teammates.
The scoreline showed that Nigeria completely dominated, but its looks surprising that Cameroon who had four players with double digits still lost.
Beniot Mbala had a game high 32 points and 10 rebounds, while Felix Bogmis had 25 points and Adala Moto contributing a further 20 points.
D’Tigers if they continue with this kind of tournament into the semis might just be able to successfully defend their title.