Nigeria’s senior male basketball team, D’Tigers, made it two straight wins at the 2019 FIBA World Cup Africa qualifiers in Bamako, Mali on Saturday by defeating Rwanda 103-53.
Talib Zanna was Nigeria’s top performer against the east Africans as he contributed 14 points with six rebounds and four assists to a collectively effective performance by the D’Tigers.
They dominated proceedings as Nigeria converted 88 per cent of their two-point field goals against Rwanda’s 50 per cent in the quest for a ticket to the World Cup.
The Rwandans converted 12 per cent of their three-point field goals against Nigeria’s 43 per cent.
Elie Kaje was the star for the Rwandans as he weighed in 15 points with five rebounds.
This week’s first-leg of Group B action marks the second of six windows on the Road to China 2019.
In order to secure a place in the African Qualifiers’ 12-team second-round, teams need to finish in the top-three of their groups.
Speaking after the match, D’Tigers top player, Ike Diogu, expressed confidence that the Nigerian side would get to host Group B action in Lagos during the June-July window.
“I can imagine what the atmosphere would be like playing before our home fans. It will be exciting for me and others as well.
“Most of the time we’ve played for Nigeria, it’s been outside of the country but the idea that the third window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers could be at home thrills me.
“I will look forward to it,” the 34-year-old Diogu, who had a dozen points against Rwanda, said.