The Nigerian men’s basketball team remains undefeated at the Aviators African Tournament currently taking place at the Palais des sports in Southwest Paris, France after a 2-0 start. The tournament which began on the 21st of July and ends on the 26th of July serves as a build up to the Afrobasket taking place next month in Tunisia. The tournament also sees the participation from Ivory Coast, Senegal and Central African Republic who will also be participants at the Afrobasket.
Led by head coach Will Voigt and his assistants including Ayinla Johnson from Union Bank, the first game saw Nigeria pitted against Team Aviation in a match-up that saw D’Tigers only utilised 7 players. Despite the short rotation, Nigeria overcame a slow start to win 68-59, Ike Diogu went 9-15 from the floor to lead all scorers with 23 points while also adding 8 rebounds, Lagos Islanders star guard Ben Uzoh finished with a double double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Boxscore – First game.
In their next game, the addition of Andy Ogide and Micheal Umeh brought the total number of players in camp to 9 as Nigeria held off a spirited Central African Republic side to win 74-68, the team once had a 21 point lead going into the fourth. Chamberlain Oguchi had a good shooting night from beyond the arc where he went 4-8 to finish with 15 points, Ben Uzoh had 14 points and 6 rebounds while Ike Diogu added 12 points. The team shot 61% from the field.
Boxsscore – Second game
- Players in camp – Ike Diogu, Ben Uzoh, Chamerblain Oguchi, Akin Akingbala, Stan Okoye, Jamal Olasewere, Jason Ebie, Michael Umeh & Andy Ogide.
- The game against Ivory Coast has been called off after the Ivorians boycotted practice this morning and went on strike due to unpaid bonuses from their sports ministry. D’Tigers are still guaranteed one more game against Senegal and TNB will keep you up to date with the latest news from Paris.