D’Tigers captain Ike Diogu was voted the Most Valuable Player as the AfroBasket men 2017 came to a close in Tunis on Saturday, Extrasportnigeria.com reports.
Diogu’s grab of the highest individual award of the tournament capped Nigeria’s outing in the competition as hosts Tunisia took over as the African champions after beating Nigeria 77-65 in the last match of the competition. On Saturday Nigeria started strongly winning the first quarter 14-8 before Tunisia rallied back to win the next at 17-10. It was indeed the third quarter which the Tunisians won by 27-16 that made the biggest difference in the final scores. Both teams tied at 25-25 in the last quarter but the deal had been done for the Tunisian with the previous stanza.
The Nigerians had arrived in the North African country as defending champions after beating the African continent to the trophy in 2015 in a tournament also held in Tunisia. D’Tigers arrived in Tunisia with as a team no bookers could stake on as possible winners as it was a team rebuilt from the scratch away but they steadily worked their way up. Only tournament MVP Diogu was a part of the 2015 successful squad. Coach Alex Nwora was named the Nigeria coach in August.
Incidentally the Nigerian women won the African cup in Mali last month.
Diogu was not only top performer of the competition as Ikenna Iroegbu (Nigeria), Mohammed Haidane (Tunisia), Ike Diogu (Nigeria), Mourad El Mabrouk (Tunisia) and Gorgui Dieng (Senegal) made up the Championship best five players.
FIBA Team of the Tournament:
Ikenna Iroegbu (Nigeria), Mohammed Haidane (Tunisia), Ike Diogu (Nigeria), Mourad El Mabrouk (Tunisia) and Gorgui Dieng (Senegal)
●Best three points scorer: Ikechukwu Nwamu (NRG)
●Best scorer: Diogu
●Tournament MVP: Diogu