Nigeria’s senior men national basketball team, D’Tigers, got off to a winning start with a 75-59 win over Mali at Palais des Sports de Treichville, Abidjan in their first match of the 2013 Afrobasket championship.
Forward Ike Diogu notched up 19 points and 7 rebounds to give Nigeria an edge over their West African opponents while Al-Farouq Aminu added 15 points and ten rebounds for the winners.
Mali started well by racing into a 7-2 lead early in the game. Nigeria managed to reduce the deficit at the first break, trailing by four points with scores settled at 14-18.
D’Tigers pulled ahead at the start of the second quarter with an 8-0 run and were 31-27 up at half-time.
Mali ensured they don’t allow their opponent run away with an easy victory as Namory Boundy capped the third quarter with a three-pointer to put Mali in a slim 46-47 gap at the end of the stanza.
Nigeria raced into a 14-0 run at the start of the final quarter and held on to a well deserved lead. Alade Aminu accounted for 12 points for Nigeria.
Namory Boundy answered with 21 points for Mali, Modibo Diakate and Mohammed Tangara had 9 points each.