Nigeria got off to a flying start at the third window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers with a 109-66 win over Uganda at the Indoor Sports Hall, National Stadium Lagos on Friday.
7 D’Tigers finished on double figures while 3 of the 7 came off the bench to score. Coach Alex Nwora started with Ike Diogu, Zanna Talib, Ben Uzoh, Jordan Nwora and Bryant Mbamalu which saw Diogu shooting back to back 3s in the first quarter.
Captain Ike Diogu scored a game high 24 points, Obi Emegano added 15 points and 3 rebounds. Tosin Mehinti and Jordan Nwora scored 12 points, Braxton Ogbueze added 11 rebounds while Ben Uzoh and Talking Zanna contributed 10 points each.
Ugandans displayed a better performance in the first half with the game tied four times. Jordin Mayes led the way for the Ugandans with 11 points at half time.
Nigeria recorded their highest scoring run early in the second quarter (13-0) with 4:58 remaining on the clock.
Diogu shot 10 of 16 from the field and 4-of-7 from the 3-point range, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
Despite struggling early on, Nwora shot two 3-pointers in the last quarter. The Louisville University forward could not cope with the aggressiveness of the Ugandans. But after getting more minutes on the court, Nwora grew into the game. He made 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 23 minutes played.
For Ugandans, Jordan Mayes had 18 points and 4 rebounds, Deng John Geu added a double-double, 13 points and 12 rebounds while Robinson Odoch had 11 points and 3 assists.
After leading by 29 points at the end of third quarter, head coach Alex Nwora handed his new players more time to adjust to the style of basketball.
Nwora said,” I had 8 debutants on my team and was switching based on what Uganda had on the floor. I tried to give everyone a run and I am glad they all did well in the end despite a shaky start”. Head Coach Alex Nwora said after the game.”
D’Tigers won 45 points off the bench, made 11/29 from the arc and 14/21 from the free throw line.
Uganda were outrebounded 49-61, committing 22 turned over balls in the entire game.
Uganda coach George Dean Galanopoulos commended the D’Tigers for having a good game.
“They are a talented team, they play together and we’ll. We had 22 turn overs and when the Nigerian side started to switch defensively we had no an answers for them. We also had bad shots and we couldn’t recorver from it.
D’Tigers are yet to lose a game in the World Cup qualifyng series after a clean sweep in Mali.
The D’Tigers will play Rwanda who defeated Mali 82-72 on Saturday.