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    Nigeria stuns Mali for first win in Fiba African qualifiers

    Nov 28, 2021
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    Nigeria gets a stunning win in the opening game.
    PHOTO: fiba.basketball

    JORDAN Ogundiran converted a four-point play and Chris Obekpa delivered the game-sealing swat as Nigeria took a 72-70 win over Mali on Saturday at Pavilhao Multiusos Acacias Rubras in Benguela, Angola.

    It was an impressive turnaround for D'Tigers, which rallied from an early 12-point deficit to record its first victory in the 2023 Fiba World Cup African qualifiers.

    Ogundiran, who missed the first game against Cape Verde and arrived just in time for the Mali game, unleashed 19 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals off the bench, none bigger than his backbreaking three with 37.6 seconds left and got a bonus after he was fouled by Mahamadou Kante.

    Obekpa took over the defensive chores in the other end, denying N'faly Kanoute's layup drive with an emphatic block to preserve the victory in the clutch, the biggest of his three rejections in the game, on top of his eight-point, five-rebound statline.

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    Nigeria, Bright AkhuetieNigeria is off to a winning start.

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    Veteran Ike Diogu poured in 19 points, six rebounds, and two steals, as Ben Uzoh had 11 points and seven assists for Nigeria to give coach Julius Nwosu his first win at the helm.

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    Former UAAP MVP Bright Akhuetie only logged three minutes and 53 seconds of action and went scoreless while committing one turnover.

    Nigeria rose to a levelled 1-1 card after chalking up its first win in Group A, giving it much confidence ahead of its match against Uganda on Sunday.

    Ibrahima Lamine Sidibe led Mali with 17 points, four assists, and three rebounds in the losing cause to fall to an even 1-1 record.

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    Nigeria gets a stunning win in the opening game.
    PHOTO: fiba.basketball
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