Tunisia Beat Nigeria D’Tigers To Become FIBA AfroBasket Champions

by Samuel Abasi Last updated on April 8th, 2018,

Tunis, Tunisia: By beating defending champions, Nigeria 77-65 at the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 final at Salle Omnisports de Rades stadium in Tunis today, Saturday, Tunisia became the new champions of Africa. Tunisia hosted the tournament for the third time – after 1987 and 2015. Nigeria and Tunisia came into the game as the two highest ranked teams in Africa.

Two years ago – at the same venue – Nigeria lost to Tunisia in the Group Phase, but they responded with four straight victories to win the trophy for the first time-ever while Tunisia finished in Third-Place.

Nigeria came into the game with a  2-1 head-to-head edge over Tunisia dating back to 2005.


Photo: Tunisia Beat Nigeria D’Tigers To Become FIBA AfroBasket 2017 Champions

Ike Diogu has been heart and soul of this Nigerian team, after all, he is the only ‘survivor’ from the 2015 Nigeria winning team.

Ike Diogu received the MVP Award offered by Tissot following his dominant performance at the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 in Rades, on the outskirts of the Tunisian capital of Tunis.

The 34-year old power forward recorded a tournament-high 22 points per game, and averaged 8.7 rebounds per game at the 16-team FIBA Africa’s most important competition.

Diogu, who has also been named on the All-Tournament team, was the tournament’s highest scorer with a total of 132 points and was Nigeria’s highest points scorer in four of their six games at the tournament.

Senegal ace Gorgui Dieng was huge throughout the FIBA AfroBasket 2017, and it came as no surprise that he was named on the All-Tournament team.

Although Nigerian Ike Diogu was awarded the MVP Award offered by Tissot as he was the tournament’s leading scorer with averages of 22 points per game, the Senegalese power forward emerged as one of the top performers, finishing with 14.2 points, 6.8 rebounds per game.

He was joined by Diogu, Nigerian guard Ikenna Iroegbu and Tunisian duo of Mourad El Mabrouk and Mohamed Hadidane.

With the Tunisian victory, both El Mabrouk and Hadidane became two-time FIBA AfroBasket champions as they helped Tunisia claim their first-ever continental trophy in 2011 in Madagascar.

In the absence of Salah Mejri and Michael Roll, Makram Ben Romdhane and Omar Abada took the leadership role for the Tunisians.

The winner in the finals, Tunisia has booked a place in the finals of the FIBA world cup.

FIBA, the world governing body for basketball – is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

2017 FIBA Afrobasket: D’Tigers Beat Senegal To Set Up Final Against Tunisia

Dakar, Senegal Sept16th: The Nigeria senior men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, have qualified for the final of the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket championship following their hard-earned 76-71 win over Senegal in a semi-final encounter on Friday night. Though they were stretched, D’Tigers were on top of their game as they won three of the four quarters in Friday’s semifinal clash.

Even as Senegal made the first few droppings after the jump ball, at the end of the first quarter, D’Tigers established a-15-12 points lead over their opponents.

The second and third quarters were also fiercely contested but the Nigerian men nicked it at 19-17 and 18-16. Nigeria won the second quarter 34-29.

D’Tigers still led 18-16 points at the end of the third quarter while Senegal managed to pick 26 points more than Nigeria’s 24 points at the end of the last quarter. While Senegal won the final quarter 26-24, it was not enough to deny Nigeria a place in the final.

Senegal were trying to reach the final for the first time since 2005; but they were denied yet again this time by D’Tigers who are keen on successfully defending the title they won two year ago.

Nigeria’s match against Senegal was tagged ‘final before final’ by fans of African basketball and it proved its tag.

D’Tigers captain, Ike Diogu, ignited the D’Tigers at both ends of the floor, emerging top performer for Nigeria, having scored 17 points, 14 rebounds, one assist and a steal.

“We played hard for forty minutes. All the guys from 2015 team have been cheering us on, and give us information. We know this is a massive win,” said Diogu, who watched Nigeria’s FIBA AfroBasket 2015 coronation from the sidelines after suffering a leg injury just days before the start of the competition.

D’Tigers are expected to defend their 2015 victory on Saturday in a final match against Tunisia, who jointly host the competition with Senegal


Photo: 2017 FIBA Afrobasket: D’Tigers Beat Senegal To Set Up Final Against Tunisia

Tunisia earlier won their semi-final encounter against Morocco 60-52 points to book a place in the final.

Tunisia forward Mohamed Hadidane on Friday came up with a performance for the ages as they beat Morocco 60-52 and set up a FIBA AfroBasket 2017 Final against Nigeria who beat Senegal 76-71.

Hadidane scored 15 of his game-high 22 points from behind the arc, grabbed six rebounds, and as a result Tunisia – who organized the tournament in 1987 and 2015 – reached the African Championship Final for the first time as hosts.

“We stepped on the floor knowing that Morocco were a tough opposition, and made their game plan as much difficult as possible,” Hadidane later explained to FIBA.basketball.

With the win,  Mario Palma became the first head coach to qualify for the tournament Final for the fifth straight time.

The winner in the finals will  book a place in the finals of the FIBA world cup.

FIBA, the world governing body for basketball – is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Author

Samuel Abasi

Samuel Abasi

A computer programmer who is also very proficient with hardware, Sam follows sports, science and tech news and everything else in between with an unrivaled passion that keeps readers coming back. Sam is also proficient in use of most online journalism tools and Social media management
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