Nigeria home based D’Tigers have been knocked out of the maiden edition of the FIBA AfroCan following an 84-80 loss to Algeria in the quarter final qualifications game on Tuesday at the Palais des Sports Salamatou Maiga, Bamako, Mali.
The D’Tigers started very well with a better ball movement, less turn overs compared to the last two group games and maintained the lead in the first half 43-39.
Nigeria who led for most part of the game took a 5 point-lead to the fourth quarter but eventually surrendered their lead with 7 minutes remaining on the clock.
D’Tigers rallied back to reduce a 10 point deficit to 3 points (83-80) with 13 seconds left after Algeria had taken a 9-0 run.
With 10 seconds remaining, Merouane Bourkaib was fouled by D’Tigers guard Michael Okiki giving out two free throws, Bourkaib converted one and missed the second (84-80).
Algeria’s 4 point-lead was more than enough to book their spot in the quarter final against Angola.
Abdul Yahaya finished with a game high 26 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists including three 3-pointers in the game.
Abdulwahab Yakubu added 16 points and 4/6 From the deep while Michael Okiki contributed 12 points and 5 of 6 from the free throw line.
For Algeria, three players finished in double figures, Abdellah Hamdini had 24 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, one block and one steal. Omar Belliche added 21 points while Nadyr Labouize scored 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.