The woes of Nigeria’s men basketball team, D’Tigers continued in their third game at the Rio Olympics as they were beaten 96-87 by Spain early Friday morning.
The African champions had suffered consecutive losses in their earlier games against Argentina and Lithuania so there was the urgent need to halt the free fall against the Spanish side who surprisingly had also lost their first two games.
However, it was Spain that raced out of the blocks as the world number two team showed intent; winning the first quarter 25-11.
D’Tigers did give a brave fight in the second quarter and cut the deficit to just two points, 43-41, going into half-time.
A massive upset looked to be on the cards as the African champions overcame a mid-quarter slump to take a 66-65 lead into the final quarter.
But Spain’s superior experience finally proved to be the difference as they stepped it up a gear in the fourth quarter to win their first game of Rio 2016.
Chamberlain Oguchi led the board for Nigeria with an impressive 24 points, while Pau Gasol scored 18 points for Spain.
D’Tigers, who lost their first two games to Argentina and Lithuania now have a tougher route to the quarter-finals as they must beat Croatia and Brazil to stand any chance of staying in contention in Rio.
Meanwhile, Rio 2016 organizers confirmed that a controlled explosion was carried out at the basketball venue before Spain and Nigeria tipped off.
A statement by a spokesman said a backpack was found in a trash container in a bathroom and blown up by the Federal Police and the Army.
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