The Nigeria U16 Basketball Team, Junior Tigers lost their opening game 86-77 to Egypt at the FIBA U16 Africa Championship in Praia, Cape Verde on Saturday.
Farouq Isah scored a team high 23 points, Reuben Chinyelu had 20 points and 11 rebound double-double while Bormini Victor Dennis had 18 points and Ebuka Emmanuel Okpara added 11 points.
Joy Ighovodjia contributed 10 rebounds for the team dominated by secondary schools across Nigeria.
The Junior Tigers had a strong start into the game winning the first quarter 21-13 but were out-rebounded by the three time champions 38-52 and committed 16 turn overs in the game.
They rallied their way back into the game in the last quarter with a 22-19 points but Egypt held on to record a win.
Moamen Abouts scored a game high 30 points, Abdullah Ahmed added 10 points while Belal Elshakery had 12 boards and nine points in the game for Egypt.
The Junior Tigers will face host Cape Verde in their second game on Sunday.
Nigeria is grouped alongside Algeria, former champions Angola, three time champions Egypt and host Cape Verde in Group A.
The competition will run from July 5-14 and will serve as qualifier for the 2020 FIBA U17 World Championship. The winner and runners-up will punch tickets for next year’s World Cup.