Nigeria’s D’Tigers have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, courtesy of their hard-earned victory over host, China in the final classification game on Sunday at the ongoing FIBA World Cup in Guangzhou, China.
The Nigerian lads beat China by 86-73 points to win the qualification slot for Africa.
The Alex Nwora-led side lost the first quarter by 21-19 points, but bounced back in the final three quarters, with 10-16, 20-25 and 22-26 points.
Josh Okogie emerged Nigeria’s top performer, with 19 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
In front of a sellout crowd at the Guangzhou Gymnasium, Nigeria edged the hosts. It’s been a tough tournament for Nigeria, whose hopes of a fairy tale campaign with heartbreaking losses to Russia and Argentina in their opening group games.
Head Coach, Alex Nwora described the win as a sweet victory, which was enough to compensate the team for missing out of a place in the quarterfinals
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Dare Sunday immediately after the win in a phone conversation with the team congratulated them for the win, which had elevated the status of Nigerian sports globally.
NBBF President, Mr. Musa Kida said the Olympics ticket and the boys’ performance were testaments to hard work of the board and the technical crew.