Tunisia have dethroned Nigeria to emerge Champions of the 2017 Afrobasket Championship after a 77-65 points victory on Saturday.
Ziyed Chennoufi led the way for the Tunisians as he scored 19 points, Nizar Knioua added 16 points and 4 assists, Mourad El Mabrouk had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists while Bechir added 11 points.
Co-host Tunisia started slowly ending the first quarter (8-14). Second quarter continued slowly for the host as they trailed by 9 points till the last 3 minutes of the second quarter. They made three straight 3s to lead by 1 point (25-24) going to the break.
Ike Diogu who has been phenomenal all through the tournament, wasted no time to score double figures. Diogu had 11 points and 7 rebounds at the end of the second quarter .
The D’Tigers captain made it 20 points and 10 rebounds at the end of the game, while Ike Iroegbu added 17 points and 4 rebounds , Bryant Mbamalu had 11 points and 5 rebounds while Ike Nwamu contributed 10 points.
D’Tigers were unimpressive from the arc as they made 30% from the arc unlike the Tunisians who had a field day from the 3 point line .
Chennoufi made 4/6 while Knioua made 4 of 5 from the arc.
Third quarter was not different as the D’Tigers never recovered till the end of the game. The 2015 champions couldn’t get back their rhythm and failed to overcome the pressure from their opponent and also the massive turn out at the final.
Nigeria reduced the deficit from 15 points to 7 with less than 2 minutes on the clock, hoping to turn the corner but three straight 3s from the Tunisians was more than enough to earn them their second Afrobasket title. In total, Tunisia made six 3 point shots in the last quarter and also made 12/ 32 in the entire game.
Ike Diogu emerged the most valuable player of the tournament , while he made the top 5 players alongside compatriot Ike Iroegbu, Gorgui Dieng of Senegal and Two Tunisians Mohamed Hadidane and Mourad El Mabrouk.