Basketball: D’Tigers loss To Mali Ends Hopes Of 2024 Olympics Qualification

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Nigeria is no longer in the race for qualification for the male basketball event of the Paris 2024 Olympics after the D’Tigers exited the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Lagos winless on Tuesday. The Nigerian senior male basketball team lost 68-77 on the second day of the tournament for Mali and Senegal to celebrate making it to the last four.

The D’Tigers stepped on the floor knowing that only a win would be enough to advance, after having lost 87-93 to Senegal on Monday at the Eko Convention Centre. But Mali, who trailed 61-53 at the end of the third quarter, used a 16-0 run to stun the team which represented Africa at the last three editions of the Olympic Games. Mali not only advanced to the pre-qualifying tournament’s semi-finals, but they also boosted their chances of making it to the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year.

Uche Iroegbu led Nigeria’s stats with 26 points while Daniel Utomi, the other Nigerian to score in double digits, finished with 16 points. Their efforts were however not enough to help Nigeria bounce back from the loss to Senegal the night before. Twins Fousseyni Drame and Hassan Drame led Mali with 14 points apiece. Mali will now close their Group Phase campaign on Thursday against Senegal, who also advanced to the last four off the back of Mali’s victory. Nigeria’s loss means Africa will have new a representative at the 2024 Paris Games.

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