D’Tigers ended their FIBA World Cup Qualifying campaign with an 84-63 defeat to Senegal at the Palaise des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan on Sunday.
Nigeria only won the second quarter 15-13 after they attempted to shake off the slow start but later lost the remaining two quarters.
Ikenna Iroegbu continued from where he left off on Saturday as he led the team to a game high 28 points, six rebounds and six assists but wasn’t enough to affect the outcome of the game. While Ik Diogu added 10 points and seven rebounds.
D’Tigers yet again were poor on shooting 24/60 and 8 of 30 from the arc committing 18 turn overs in the game.
Three Senegalese finished on double digits, Babacar Toure had a team high 20 points and 10 rebound double-double, Mamadou Lamine Sambe added 19 points while Cheikh Mbodj had 14 points and six rebounds.
D’Tigers finished their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 10-2 record, both defeats coming in the last round of the qualifiers against Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal.
Reacting after the loss, D’Tigers head coach Alex Nwora said he missed the availability of his scorers in this window.
“If Jordan my son was here or Stan Okoye, Efevberha, Aminu, Ik Nwamu, I am sure they would have scored and these are double digit scorers. In this qualifiers, we averaged over a 100 points and we beat everyone by almost 30 point margin and to come here and get beaten by this sort of margin, it humbles you. It also tells us we have to do our work early and make sure these guys are available.”
He added, “We are still number one in Africa and in our group despite the defeat and it’s not the sort of result we expected. We came here to finish our campaign undefeated but it didn’t turn out that way. I am still grateful we still fly the flag high and I am proud of these guys.”
The FIBA World Cup is scheduled to take place from August 31- September 15 in China.