Home based D’Tigers started their FIBA AfroCan with an 81-69 loss to Kenya at the Palais des Sports Salamatou Maiga, Bamako, Mali on Saturday.
The team who arrived Bamako few hours before tip off wore out at the end of the first quarter after leading for most part of the quarter 19-16.
Kenya bounced back in the second half 10-18 leading by three points going to the break (32-29).
Tylor Ongwae led the way with 31 points and 9 assists with 4 steals to go with it. Okall Koranga added 12 points and 10 rebound double-double while Erick Reuben Mutoro added 12 points for Kenya.
Kenya scored 10 pointers and made 11/12 from the line while recording 20 turn overs in the game same committed by Nigeria.
Three players finished on double figures for Nigeria, Ibe Agu scored 13 points, 5 assists and 3 steals while Abdul Yahaya and Abdulwahab Yakubu both scored 10 points each in the game.
Nigeria tried to get back into the third quarter 23-19 with a point deficit heading to the final quarter 52-53. They however crumbled at the start of the fourth and were eeventually outscored 28-17 by Kenya who lost their opening game to Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday.
Nigeria will next play Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday as they hope to get back on track at that maiden edition of the FIBA AfroCan.