By Emmanuel Okogba
Nigeria’s D’Tigers failed to sustain the tempo they started with and fell by 17 points to Australia in their opening Group B game of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics basketball event.
The Boomers took the initiative in the second half after Nigeria made it a close game in the first two quarters and forced them to narrow 43-40 lead at half time.
Australia, number one in the recent Power Rankings, had Patty Mills finish as the highest scorer with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals while Nigeria’s top performer was Josh Okogie with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Nigeria’s coach, Mike Brown reiterated his stand that the team was not the finished article yet. He said, “Because we beat team USA and Argentina, everyone thinks we have arrived. No we haven’t. We still have a long way to go.”
The African champions will need to work on their free throws after squandering 50 per cent of theirs as against Australia’s 90 per cent conversion rate.
Nigeria converted 46 per cent of their two point throws and managed only 29 per cent of their three pointers.
D’Tigers will face Germany on Wednesday in their next fixture. Germany also lost to Italy in their opening game 92-82.