By Joe Apu
Nigeria’s smooth run in the Afrobasket 2021Final Round suffered a hitch on Sunday when Cote d’Ivoire recorded a victory over the former Afrobasket runners up in a 77-68 win.
The Elephants took control of the game from the tip-off of the game, taking a comfortable 20-11 win in the first quarter but the second quarter belonged to Nigeria as they rallied to a 23-19.
That second quarter win was all the Ivoriens allowed as they took total control from the third quarter and the fourth as well as they raced to15-13, 23-21.
Cote d’ Ivoire’s Nisre Mimi Zouzoua led the floor in the game as he had a game high of 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists. His compatriots Stephane Konate and Matt Costello added 12 points apiece to help the points tally.
Nigeria had Benjamin Anyahukeya Emelogu to thank for his 13 points, 5 rebounds to lead the floor for the side Uzodinma Utomi added 12 points.
Despite the loss, Nigeria with 5 points from three games joined Group C leaders Cote d’ Ivoire with 6 points having recorded three wins out of three into the quarter-finals stage of the competition.