It was jubilation galore for Nigeria, as the team known as D’Tigers got themselves a ticket to the London 2012 Olympics for the first time in its country’s history, led by Ike Diogu’s 25 points and 10 rebounds, The Nigerian team kept their calm and composure as they defeated Dominica Republic 88-73 to book themselves a first class ticket to London 2012.
The first quarter started with Ike Diogu scoring the first two points from a fade away jumper. The Nigerian team failed to take control of the game after that as DR front court could not be stopped on offence, going up 16-8. Derrick Obasohan kept Nigeria in the game with some good shooting, and after the insertion of Ade Dagundro, Nigeria’s defence buckled up, forcing DR to 5 turnovers, as Nigeria went on an 11-0 run winning the quarter 24-18.
|Martinez was a threat|
In the 2nd quarter, Nigeria Played very good team basketball with 11 assists, however, they could not take advantage of their dominance as Yack Martinez for DR was causing major problems for Nigeria in the paint, he had 15 points and 7 rebounds by the end of the 2nd quarter. With our lead slipping away, Ade Dagundro brought some very good guard play enabling Ike Diogu to come into the game scoring 4 straight points to maintain Nigeria’s lead, and with five seconds left in the half, Dagunduro again set up Derrick Obasohan with a nice pass to convert a jumper and keep Nigeria 47-39 ontop, Diogu lead Nigeria with seven points at the end of the half.
|Dagunduro tough as nails|
Nigeria started the 3rd quarter strong as Ade Dagunduro took the game to DR with his penetrating drives taking the lead up to 11, DR showed some life however as Bias cut the lead to five points after engineering a strong comeback, the Nigerian team were lead scoreless for most of the quarter, until Tony Skinn went to the free throw line to hit one of two, then hitting a big three to push the lead back to five points. It was not for long though as Francisco Garcia came back at the other end and hit his own three to cut it back to two. Koko Achibong then committed an un-sportsman like foul with .3 second left, but DR could not capitalise as they missed both free throws, the quarter finished 59-57 to Nigeria.
|Diogu with a monster game !!!|
The 4th quarter was started brightly by Nigeria as Ike Diogu went to work inside with some nifty moves ,(I’m telling you he has been studying Hakeem) Derrick Obasohan then hit a three to push the lead up to 7 points. Another advantage for Nigeria was Dominican Republic’s big man Al Horford going to the bench after committing his fourth fouls with 8 minutes left in the quarter. Al Farouq Aminu on the other hand was showing the world what kind of defensive specialist he is and why he is in the NBA with some breath taking block shots. The Dominicans refused to go down without a fight, they staged another comeback as Bias tied the game with two free throws 64-64, but Ike Diogu took control of the game and showed everyone why he was a former NBA lottery pick with two big three pointers for Nigeria to extend the lead, Al Farouq Aminu then Flew through the lane for an acrobatic tip to further extend the lead as Nigeria closed out the quarter and eventually the game, leading to jubilant celebrations by the Nigerian team and supporters. Ike Diogu was the man of the match as he was clutch through the game and finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, Al Farouq Aminu also played very intelligently as he finished with 14 points and 5 blocks, Francisco Garcia lead the way for DR with 17 points.
Up next it’s London 2012, big congrats to the team, they have made loads of fans around the world and it was well deserved, I’m going to bed folks, its 3.20am in London right jow, and as we say over here, I’m knackered.