D'Tigers beat African champs
It was for more than African pride as Nigeria took on Tunisia in the much anticipated first game for both at the Olympics in London. Though from the same continent both teams are as alike as night and day. The Tunisian and African Champion all play at home for technically the same Club. The Nigerians on the other hand feature a physical team that has an umbilical cord connected to the United States. All D’ Tigers have American roots.
And they played like Americans. Good Americans that is.
Not only was their transitional game in high octane form but their defense was just as outstanding. Tunisia did not score in the first 5 minutes and were hounded all day long by D Tigers who challenged everything causing the Arabs to repeatedly let the shot clock run out. Such was the quality of the stifling defense by Nigeria that by the third quarter the North Africans had only been to the line 10 times.
Nigeria led by 16 at half time and to many the game was over especially considering that Tunisia had never beaten Nigeria in the past. But that is why they play the game and that is why Tunisia is the African Champion . From shooting a dismal 17% in the first quarter they clawed their way back and were shooting in the mid 70’s by games end. Slowly Nigeria's lead evaporated and within spitting distance of the end whistle she found herself up by just two points.
But Ike Diogu caught his second wind and was just too much in the middle. Even when the Tunisians collapsed around him he remained focus and virtually owned the glass in terms of rebounding. Helped along by Aminu senior who showed the younger brother that he can still can play Nigeria once more turned up the throttle and willed their way to a 60-56 win.
While Coach Bakare much be pleased with this victory he cant be happy with the way the West Africans surrendered their gargantuan lead and I know that practice in the morning for the Tigers will hope to address this. Allowing this to fester in this group would be a disaster.