Nigeria’s senior men’s basketball team D’Tigers suffered a 79-71 loss to Cape Verde in their opening game at the 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers Window 1 in Angola on Monday.
The depleted team who were boosted by the return of captain Ike Diogu were the more adventurous side taking the first quarter 20-18 but the Cape Verdeans took the second quarter 16-15 with Nigeria going into the halftime break with a one point lead – 35-34.
D’Tigers took the third quarter 20-17 but the Cape Verdeans were the more resourceful side in the final quarter outscoring the Nigerians 28-16 to take the win.
Diogu and Keith Omoerah led D’Tigers in scoring with 13 points while Diogu led in rebounds (eight).
Ben Uzoh contributed 11 points. He also led in assists in the game with 11. Tarekeyi Edogi scored 10 points.
Nigeria will face Mali in their second Group A game on Saturday. Their final game against Uganda on Sunday has been suspended after the east African side pulled out of the qualifying window due to lack of funds.
The team were without every member of the roster that featured at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo earlier this year.