The Nigeria national men basketball team, D’Tigers late on Wednesday booked their tickets to the African Basketball Cup of Nations and All African Games competition after defeating visiting Burkina-Faso national basketball team 63-50 points.
The game was the second leg qualifier for Afrobasket and AAG competitions, after the Burkinabes lost the first leg to Nigeria about a week ago.
Straight from the jump ball, the D’Tigers made their intention known with a dazzling display in the first quarter of the game.
The duo of Yahaya Abdul and Stanley Gumut (both Mark Mentors players) stole the show in the second quarter to give Nigeria an accelerated points lead before the end of first half.
Burkina Faso came rampaging in the third quarter of second half due to injury suffered by D’Tigers talisman, Abubakar Usman (Nda Abu) which also led to the drop in the D’Tigers performance till the end of the game.
By the fourth quarter, D’Tigers got their grooves back and ended the game on a high note, to the admiration of the scanty crowd that graced the National Stadium Lagos.
Speaking with journalists after the game, D’Tigers coach, Sanni Ahmed, said the journey to Afrobasket had just started and the team would not relax until the nation wins the elusive Afrobasket trophy.
President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Tijani Umar, expressed joy at the team’s victory, while also acknowledging the valuable contributions of back room staffs, most especially Skambo Morrison the welfare manager, Akinkunle Bolarinwa, the media officer and not forgetting Emmanuel Odah the equipment manager of the team.
According to Umar, the success of the team is incomplete without the ingenuity of these three great guys.
D’Tigers welfare manager, Skambo Morrison said that the entire D’tigers crew were grateful to Nigerians for their support and expected them to accord the same hospitality and support to women’s national team, the D’Tigress, when they hit camp in May.