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Basketball: Nigeria out of 2024 Olympics as D’Tigers lose to Mali in Lagos

NIGERIA will not be participating in men’s basketball at the Paris 2024 Games after D’Tigers lost their second consecutive game in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Lagos tonight.

D’Tigers needed to beat Mali after losing last night to Senegal at the Eko Hotel Convention Centre on Victoria Island, but they were beaten again and their hopes of a fourth straight Olympic Games qualification went up in smoke.

Mali blew out the Nigerians in the fourth quarter to win the game 77-68, after D’Tigers looked to be on their way to a close win.

Nigeria edged the first two quarters 17-15 and 26-23 to take a five-point lead into half-time.

D’Tigers extended the lead to eight points as the third quarter ended 61-53 but they were undone by woeful shooting (35 percent shot conversion) in an incredibly one-sided fourth quarter
as Mali rallied.

The crowd at the Eko Hotel Convention Centre were left stunned as D’Tigers put up little resistance and allowed Mali to claim the win with a 24-7 blowout in the final quarter, including 16 straight points without reply.

Despite the poor team display, Uche Uroegbu was brilliant individually again like he was in the loss to Senegal last night.

The point guard led the game in scoring with 26 points, 11 more than Mali’s top scorer Fousseyni Drame.

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Naija Times