Nigeria defeated Cote D’Ivoire 84-73 in their first match of the September Window as the drive to China 2019 takes the final bend. Coach Alex Nwora is confident of better display from D’Tigers as they face Central African Republic and Senegal respectively in the remaining games of Saturday and Sunday, Extrasportsnigeria.com reports.
Nwora who cruised to 7-0 in the run up to the 2019 FIBA World Cup with the Friday defeat of CIV acknowledged the lapses in their first win while assuring the fans of better games as the qualifiers continue. He spoke at a post-match media conference held at the Sports Hall of the National Stadium.
Nwora said of the game, “This is the second time we have had full court play since we assembled for this competition following the scrimmage with Rwanda on Wednesday. And at that we had just about 8-man rotation for the warm up with Rwanda so we are just having our first proper test as a team.
“As you may be aware, this not exactly the team that played in June; we have a lot of the old players coming back for this. It will take some time blending together very well. But I am sure that we should have better feel of the ball and court in the next games.”
Against the Ivorians, Nigeria made the first shot and led the first quarter 21-19. The Ivorians made an 8-point run to close up Nigeria. It was 41-32 at the break. The third quarter ended 64-48 for Nigeria but that was after the visitors took over the lead twice. D’Tigers fought back to a 20-point lead and a late rally from their toughened opponents reduced the gap to just one lead with about five minutes to the end but there was no stopping the Tigers until the buzzer.
Both teams recorded 21 turnovers.