Nigeria’s D’Tigers beat Croatia to claim first win at Rio Olympics

Aug 14 2016 - 2:45pm
Oguchi of Nigeria

Oguchi of Nigeria

D’Tigers earned their first win at the 2016 Olympic Basketball Tournament by creating the biggest upset to date in the competition with a 90-76 defeat of Croatia on Saturday night.

 

With the victory, the African champions improved to 1-3 to keep alive their hopes of advancing to the quarter-finals, with Croatia dropping to 2-2.

 

Croatia led 28-21 at the end the first quarter but Nigeria outscored them 22-11 in the second to take a 43-39 half-time lead.

 

Michael Umeh hit 5-of-8 three-pointers for 16 first half points.

 

Nigeria’s hot shooting from long range continued in the third quarter as they hit 4-of-7 attempts.

 

Their lead reached 50-35 when Ike Diogu connected from beyond the arc.

 

An 8-0 run spanning the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth enabled Croatia to cut the deficit to single digits at 70-61.

 

They got within 74-71 on a Bojan Bogdanovic free-throw with 4:14 left to play but down the stretch Josh Akognon and Ebi Ere hit clutch three-pointers to secure the impressive win.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the win rank as Nigeria’s biggest win at the world level since they surprised Greece 80-79 at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

 

Heading into their final group game on Monday against hosts Brazil on the back of this win can only do their confidence a world of good.

 

Croatia will face European rivals Lithuania and whether or not they reach the quarter-finals may be dictated by more than the result of their game.(NAN)

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