Nigeria’s male basketball team will aim for their second win at the ongoing 2021 FIBA AfroBasket tournament when they take on their Kenyan counterparts Friday afternoon (2 pm) in Kigali.
D’Tigers started their campaign on a winning note against Mali on Wednesday; registering an 81-73 victory.
Coach Mike Brown’s men will be keen to confirm their superiority over their East African opponents, who are only making a return to the continental basketball tournament since 1993.
With the win in their group opener, D’Tigers share the top of Group C alongside Cote d’Ivoire, who needed to step up in the last quarter to get away with a 88-70 triumph against a fearless and combative Kenyan team.
D’Tigers rave of the moment, Benjamin Emelogu who had a sterling display against Mali is fired up for the Kenya clash.
Emelogu, who recorded 18 points from six successful three-pointers from 10 attempts, said the license to shoot gave him the confidence to do what he knows how to do best on the court.
A very confident Emelogu, still buoyed by his display against Mali, said winning the Afrobasket title is not out of reach.
“Our goal is to win it, bring back the trophy to Nigeria and that is our aim and that is everybody’s mindset on the team,” he said in the build-up to Friday’s game.
As for Kenya, though they are clear underdogs against Nigeria, their record-making female head coach Liz Mills looks defiant and would be hoping for an upset against D’Tigers
“I actually don’t think Cote d’Ivoire beat us, we beat ourselves. We were in it for 35 minutes,” the Australian coach said after her team’s opening day defeat.
A win will see the D’tigers, with one leg in the next phase of the tournament, a secured second place in Group C, to face the third-best team from Group D. The group comprises Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda, and Cameroon, in the next round.
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