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Nigeria’s D’Tigers Strike Again, Beat Argentina 94-71


July 13, (THEWILL) – The resurgent Nigerian basketball team under the guidance of coach Mike Brown is laying its credentials down impressively as they followed their sensational victory over the hitherto invincible American team with another clear statement 94-71 win against Argentina on Monday night.

The exhibition match against the fourth highest ranked team in the world in Las Vegas was part of the team’s preparations for the Olympics Games this summer in Tokyo Japan.

The South Americans were quickest off the blocks. They took the first quarter with a close 19-17 score. They came with a fast-paced, attack and hold strategy that appeared to serve them well but Nigeria quickly began to impress their authority and control of the game as the first quarter ended.

In the second quarter, D’Tigers rallied. The understanding between the players, which the Nigerians had turned into an advantage in their game against the USA, returned to make them difficult to contain and Nigeria improved to end the quarter 26-14. It meant they went into half time 10 points ahead at 43-33.

It was the Nigerian side that clicked into gear from the start of the third quarter. The match witnessed an impressive overall play by Jahlil Okafor, who missed the Saturday night victory over America. The 10-point gap at half time had increased to 19 when the third quarter wrapped up 74-55.

Brown’s charges did incredibly well to handle the offence of the Argentine team, whose ranking was proof of the quality in their side. Not allowing the antics of the opponent to deter the free-flowing style that they were playing, D’Tigers finished the contest 94-71 to improve to 2-0 in the pre-Olympic exhibition season.

It was an improved performance and the team demonstrated a high level of professionalism, with team work and individual talent where necessary providing the needed quality every time to make a difference. Okafor debuted with 15 points while Precious Achiuwa added 12 to his already sterling display in the first exhibition match.

D’Tigers will next face the Australian national team on Tuesday for the third of their exhibition games. However, the excellence of the play will be a selection dilemma for coach Brown, who has to announce his final squad on July 17.

Thereafter, D’Tigers will leave for Kisarazu city in Japan two days later for the Pre-Games training camp, before moving into the Olympics Village proper ahead of their Group B fixtures where they will play Italy, Germany and Australia.