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Nigeria’s Ditigers crashed out of the basketball event of the 2020 Olympic Games after failing to secure a vital win against Italy losing 80 -71 at the Saitama Arena. The Nigeria team having earlier been defeated by Australia and Germany started the game in good tempo pushing their opponent more to the defense.

In the third quarter D’Tigers were imposing their authority in the game with increasing points and before the fourth quarter Nigeria led 63-56, in spite of the technically near balanced Italian players’ efforts.

But on resumption of the fourth quarter Nigeria players failed to gain vital points due to poor finishing and the Italian went on to win the game with Italian Nicolo Melli scoring 15 points, Nico Mannion had 14 and Italy used a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter rally to beat Nigeria.

With the victory, Italians could finish either first or second in the group, though the outcome of the Germany-Australia game will determine the final position later Saturday.

The Nigeria team with majority of their player’s debutants saw Chimezie Metu did score 22 points, Jordan Nwora 20 and Jahlil Okafor also did score 14 points for Nigeria.

Nigeria’s coach Mike Brown will definitely head up his players’ effort high considering the late preparation and gathering of the players from different locations, especially from the NBA. 

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