Host Cote d’Ivoire demolished the D’Tigers 72-46 to halt their 9-0 game unbeaten run in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers at the Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan on Friday.
Nigeria started slowly in the first half and couldn’t cope with the aggressiveness of their opponent at both ends of the floor. The Ivorians started with an 8-0 run in the first quarter stretching the lead to 9 points at the end of the second quarter, 28-19.
The D’Tigers put up a more disappointing performance in the third quarter and were poor from the arc 0/13. Their only three point shot came in the last quarter from Mike Umeh as the team made 1/22 from the arc.
Ike Diogu scored 10 points and five rebounds while Ekene Ibekwe added 10 rebounds and eight points in the game for D’Tigers.
Guy Landry Edi led the way for the Ivorians with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists, Jean Francois Kebe added 14 points and five rebounds while Tiegbe Bamba had 10 points and six rebounds. Mohamed Deba Kone recorded 10 rebounds but went two points shy of a double-double, scoring eight points.
The host made 10/24 from the arc and out-rebounded Nigeria 51-35 while recording two block shots in the game and edge closer to China .
Earlier, Senegal beat Rwanda 81-41 to book their place in the World Cup while Central African Republic defeated Mali 75-57 to boost their chance of qualifying to the World Cup.
Nigeria will come against Central African Republic, Senegal will face Mali while Cote d’Ivoire will play against Rwanda on Saturday.
Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic and Cameroon will battle for the only slot left in the African qualifiers of the FIBA World Cup with the other four already taken by Nigeria, Tunisia, Angola and most recently Senegal.