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TUNISIA - 18 Feb 2021

South Sudan narrowly loses to Nigeria in Wednesday's FIBA games

[Photo: FIBA]
[Photo: FIBA]

The South Sudan senior men's basketball team battled it out with the Nigerian D’Tigers in their first game yesterday in Tunisia, where the latter secured a narrow 75-70 win in the qualifiers for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Championship.

According to FIBA, the best teams from the qualifiers will pick the tickets for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Championship.

With the win, Nigeria not only improved their position at the top of Group D where both teams are, but they also qualified for the Final Round of the African Championship to be staged later this year in Kigali.

Even though the D'Tigers led by as many as 14 points at some point in the game, the South Sudanese bounced back, taking a two-point lead with 3:45 minutes remaining.

With things looking a bit shaky for the former African champions Nigeria, shooting guard Obi Emegano took matters into his own hands hitting a pair of three-points with just over a minute left and the South Sudanese were never the same again.

Ike Iroegbu paced Nigeria with a team-high 16 points, Emegano added 15 to his account as all ten Nigerian players scored at least three points each. 

South Sudan's Nuni Omot made his debut in style finishing with a game-high 27 points in the losing cause.

In a post-game press conference, the Nigeria captain Ike Diogu said all games present a different challenge and last evening's game with South Sudan was 'a tough challenge.' 

Meanwhile, in Group D's second game of the day, Mali outscored Rwanda 76-51 to improve their mark to a 2-2. 

South Sudan will battle Mali later today in a bid to secure a spot in the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Championship to be hosted later in Rwanda.