This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria/Tunisia: London 2012 - d'Tigers Beat African Champs, Tunisia

Photo: Leadership
Nigeria basketball player

Nigeria's basketball team, D'Tigers survived a huge late surge from Tunisia to beat the African champions 60-54 to kick off their London 2012 quest on a winning note.

D'Tigers, who had defied all the odds to pick an Olympic ticket from the qualifiers, which held in Venezuela, had looked to be cruising at the end of the second quarter when they comfortably led the North Africans.

However, the Ayo Bakare-tutoured lads appeared to lose their way at the start of the third quarter, allowing the Tunisians make the first three baskets and letting the North Africans close to within two points at a stage.

The Nigerian side did not fair match better in the four quarter and as the clock was winding down were barely holding on for dear life to their lead.

In the end the buzzer sounded to save the West Africans from a spectacular collapse and allow the two points slip away.

In view of the very tough Group A which D'Tigers are in it was imperative that they were able to beat arguably their 'weakest' foe in the section.

Other teams in the group including reigning Olympic champions, Team USA, Argentina, Lithuania and France - all three are higher ranked than Nigeria.

Favourites Team USA gets her campaign under way later Sunday against France, while Argentina and Lithuania clash in the evening game.

Nigeria's next match is on Tuesday against European powerhouse, Lithuania.

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