LUANDA/Angola: Nigeria’s D’Tigers on Friday opened their 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifier campaign with a defeat to Cape Verde.
The 2015 African champions fell 71-79 to Cape Verde on Friday at the Benguela, Pavilhão Multiusos Acácias Rubras in Angola.
The Nigerian men’s basketball team started the game on a high note with a 20-18 lead in the first quarter.
D’Tigers, however, narrowly lost the second quarter 15-16 to Cape Verde.
They rallied back into the game with a three-point advantage of 20-17 in the third quarter.
The Julius Nwosu boys failed to pull their weight in the fourth quarter and ended up losing 16-28 points.
D’Tigers will take on Mali in the second qualification game on Saturday.
The game is scheduled to take place at 2 pm local time.
Nigeria are in group A with Cape Verde, Mali and Uganda.
16 African teams are competing in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers through five tournament windows over 15 months.
The qualifiers run from Nov. to Feb. 2023, with five African national teams earning a spot in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 scheduled to take place from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10, 2023 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.