After a spirited outing at the combined AfroCan qualifiers in Abidjan, FIBA Africa has given D’Tigers of Nigeria, the last wild card slot for the second edition of AfroCan Basketball Championship, scheduled to hold in Luanda, Angola this month.
A hurriedly assembled D’Tigers of Nigeria team, won one and narrowly lost two of their three matches at the qualifiers in Abidjan, over the weekend to narrowly missed out on the automatic qualification.
Having lost 62-65 to Guinea on Day-1, Coach Ogoh Odaudu and his boys bounced back to reckoning by thumping Benin Republic on Saturday, before losing to host Côte d’Ivoire 65-74 points, on Sunday night.
The Ivorians, thus secured the automatic qualifying ticket to the finals of the tournament, which is the basketball equivalent of the CHAN, organized by Africa’s football governing body (CAF).
In the last matches on Sunday of the FIBA Africa Zone 2 and 3, was rather ill-tempered, and almost marred by bad calls against Nigeria, prompting Coach Odaudu to protest to the referees, repeatedly.
But remarkably, FIBA Africa had rewarded Nigeria with the final wild card for the July 8th to 16th finals, for finishing second with the raw talents that were paraded in the three games played in Abidjan.
D’Tigers were polled in Group B, along with the host nation Angola and West African powerhouse Mali, while Côte d’Ivoire are in the same group with Kenya and Gabon, which also got FIBA Africa’s wild card.