Nigeria senior men’s national team, D’Tigers put up an outstanding performance in their first game against Coted I’voire in the final round of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Luanda, Angola on Friday.

The D’Tigers defeated the Ivorians 72-63 to put an end to their unbeaten run in the qualifiers.

Prior to this game, Ivory Coast had already qualified with a 7-0 record so had little or nothing to lose.

Nigeria who have an uphill task to qualify knew they had to win if they were to stand any chance.

At half time, the D’Tigers trailed by four points (30-34) but came back and made a 10-0 run at the start of the third quarter (40-34).

With 5:46 left remaining to play, Francois Kuyo drained a 3 for Cote I’voire to tie the game 57-57 but a quick response by Victor Ezeh from the deep was all it took for the D’Tigers to get back in the lead and they never looked back from there on.

Top performer of the game Israel Otobo made a double-double 13 points, 13 rebounds.

Ezeh shot a team high 18 points including four 3-pointers while Kanyinsola Odufuwa added 12 points.

Nigeria outrebounded 43-39 and shot 13/18 from the free throw line while shooting 5-of -18 from behind the arc.

Despite the win, the D’Tigers gave away possession and committed 24 turnovers in the game which was a cause for concern.

Head Coach Ogoh Odaudu admitted his team’s errors but remained confident it will be worked on before their next game.

“We had 24 turnovers and we need to really cut down on it. We have to take care of the ball better. You can turn the ball 24 times and win a basketball game it’s a Miracle we won. We will cut down on it.”

Nigeria will next face Guinea in their second game on Saturday.