Nigeria’s senior men’s basketball team, the D’Tigers have lost 84-67 to Australia in their opening Group B match at the Tokyo Olympics. Two weeks ago in Las Vegas, the Boomers were 39 points better than Nigeria but in today’s encounter at the Saitama Super Arena, Coach Mike Brown’s team got off to a good start but in the crucial stages of the match, poor shooting let them.
Both teams combined for 46 turnovers with Australia contributing 22. The first quarter was a tight affair, it ended 23-23 and the direction of the match was hinged on the second-quarter performance. Australia won it 20-17. Nigeria lost seven free throws, easily they would have taken the lead into the break. In the third quarter, the arena’s buzzer couldn’t function properly and that affected the momentum of the game. Notwithstanding, the Boomers got their shooting right, Nigeria struggled with theirs and lost the quarter 15-12.
In the 4th quarter, Patty Mills took things personally with exceptional shooting and the Boomers won 26-15 to wrap up a fine performance with defense being the main focus for coach Brian Goorjian’s team. Mills was Australia’s best performer with 25 points while Joe Ingles and Dante Exum recorded 11 apiece. Nigeria’s Obi Emegano had 12 points, Josh Okogie finished the game with 11 points while Jordan Nwora and Precious Achiuwa recorded 10 points each.
The D’Tigers will hope to make amends when they take on Germany in their second group match on Wednesday, 28th July.