After losing their first match on Friday to Cape Verde, D’Tigers were under pressure to get a win against Mali, and that they did by the tightest of margins, winning 72-70.
Ike Diogu was the star man for D’Tigers with his 19 points, six rebounds, and two steals. Omotayo Jordan Ogundiran also made 19 points-three of five from outside the paint with three assists and three rebounds. Uzoh added 11 points while Tarekeyi Andrew Edogi added seven from the bench.
Coach Julius Nwosu started the five of Jeleel Akindele, Diogu, Ben Uzoh, Keith Omoerah, and Amanze Egekeze. Diogu made the first basket of the game and won a tight first quarter 16-15.
The Malians came back strongly in the second quarter 24-14 but the Nigerians steadied the ship with 23-16 and 19-15 wins in the third and fourth quarters to take the win by two points and give the team a chance to make it into the next round of the qualifiers.
Coach Nwosu will have sighed with relief as Christopher Ewaoche Obekpa made a successful block on N’faly Kanoute with eight seconds left on the clock.
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