World Cup; It’s too bad we did not make it, says D’Tigers coach

The Nigeria men’s basketball team, D’Tigers will not be among the five teams that will represent Africa at the FIBA World Cup later this year.

The flagship event is billed to be jointly hosted by multiple nations in Asia; the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, from 25 August to 10 September 2023.

Despite giving it a shot until their last game, D’Tigers fell short of making back-to-back appearances at the World Cup, and the coach of the Nigeria team, Ogoh Odaudu, is pained by the miss.

“It’s too bad that we did not make it to the World Cup but I think we put up a good fight and we can say we are proud of ourselves,” he said.

Though they needed to win and also hope for other results to go their way, D’Tigers lost 65-59 to Angola in their last FIBA World Cup African qualifiers fixture on Sunday.

D’Tigers had lost in their first meeting in August 2022 against Angola, and they looked destined for another defeat after starting on the back foot; losing the first quarter, 18-15.

The Angolans extended their dominance in the second quarter with an 18-14 scoreline to take a seven-point lead into the second half.

D’Tigers appeared helpless as they fell further behind, with a 19-9 score as Angola took a 17-point lead into the final quarter.

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While the tactical changes made by Coach Odaudu saw D’Tigers finishing strongly with an 11-point margin in the fourth quarter, the 21-10 score line was inadequate to help them secure the much-needed victory.

In the final Group E standing, Côte d’Ivoire finished top, Angola were runners-up and Cape Verde was third, and all three qualified for the World Cup.

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D’Tigers placed fourth, Guinea finished fifth, and Uganda sixth.

Meanwhile, South Sudan and Egypt are Africa’s other two representatives in the FIBA World Cup after finishing first and second respectively in Group F.

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