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Xtra | Basketball

Greek showdown looms for Nigeria



Nigeria's D'Tigers will confront Greece in the quarterfinal of the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men on Friday in Caracas.

D'Tigers set up a quarterfinal clash with the Greeks after surprisingly defeating European powerhouse, Lithuania 86-80 points.

The Africans in the space of minutes in the first quarter were five points ahead and ended the period 20-20 points.

In the second period, the game was tied at 38 points apiece and with 11 seconds left, Anthony Skinn's three-pointer gave Nigeria the lead by three points.

Derrick Obasohan played his part in the third quarter with three pointers and a deuce, as Nigeria raced to a 67-57 points lead ahead of the final quarter.

D'Tigers ran into trouble against the Europeans in the early minutes of the fourth quarter by surrendering nine out of their ten-point lead from the third quarter.

Ike Diogu and Skinn combined points to make sure that the last two minutes of the final period produced an upset as D'Tigers downed Lithuania 86-80 points.

The Nigerians will also take some happy moments with them into their quarterfinal game as Obasohan led the floor on 20 points for D'Tigers.

New Orleans Hornets' Al Farouq Aminu, Diogu and Skinn also ended the night on double figures of 16, 11 and 15 points respectively.

The match against Greece will be the second time both teams will face each other in the space of three weeks.

The Greeks had earlier beaten D'Tigers 88-76 points in the four-nation Electrobras Tournament in Brazil on June 27.

Greece won their two group games against Puerto Rico and Jordan at the ongoing Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament by 98-84 and 107-63 points respectively.



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