Returnee Michael James Efevberha hit 20 points and gave 6 assists while Ike Diogu shot 19 points and grabbed 7 rebounds as Nigeria defeated Uganda 102-86 in FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifying match played in Bamako, Mali on Friday, Extrasportsnigeria.com reports.
The Ugandans had started off very well winning the first quarter 17-11 before Nigeria recovered at 36-29 in the next quarter. D’Tigers would go on to win the remaining two quarters at 28-20 and 27-20 as the East Africans got beaten.
Ugandan’s Robison Odoch was, however, the top scorer of the day hitting a high 25 points to lead both sides. Ben Uzoh and Ikenna Mbamalu shot 15 and 11 points respectively for D’Tigers. Efevberha last played for Nigeria in 2009.
In the second match of the night, Rwanda quietened the home fans winning Mali 74-70 to create a tough atmosphere against Nigeria as the teams play the reverse fixtures on Saturday. The 2019 World Cup qualifying matches are holding at various centres across the world.
The Nigerian side managed by Alex Nwora arrived in Bamako on Thursday for the series. This first stage for the groups will be rounded off on Sunday.
By Pius Ayinor
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