Abidjan – Nigeria’s Basketball team, D’Tigers began their campaign in the 2013 African Basketball Championship (Afrobasket) on a good note by beating Mali 74-59 in the opening match.
The match which had a tie at some points later had the Nigerian team dominating the last 30 minutes of play.
D’Tigers grouped in D would continue its campaign in the tournament playing Congo on Friday and another match against Cameroon on Sunday.
Coach Ayo Bakare told newsmen after the match that the team’s performance was not bad, adding: “It was a good performance, we finished well at the end.’’
Some fans, who spoke shortly after the match, said the team showed resilience all through the game.
One of them, Sunny Ugbo, a Nigerian-based in Abidjan and a sports promoter, said the team had potential to go far in the tournament.
“I am seeing a team with good combination and fighting spirit, at a time there was a tie, but they rose to make the difference in the end,’’ he said.
Another supporter of the team, Festus Efosa, said that he was happy seeing a Nigerian basketball team with enormous potential.
“I must say that it was good display, the Malians cannot also be said to be a very bad side, they also did well, but we did better,’’ Efosa said.
Also, Kelechi Franklin, a Nigerian, urged the team to keep up the spirit and stay focused on clinching the title.
“My advice is that they should make us proud by winning the title. Their play today was good, I urge them to come out better in the days ahead.’’
Cameroon defeated Republic of Congo 74-43 in an earlier group match played on Wednesday. (NAN)