Team Nigeria at the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games, Nigerian men’s basketball team D’Tigers have been eliminated after Saturday, July 31, 2021, loss to Italy.
Nigeria fell 80-71 to Italy in their third group game of the Olympics. The loss was also their third straight in the Olympics and ended their journey in Tokyo.
The D’Tigers needed to win against Italy to stand any chance of progressing to the next round, but they had a slow start against the Europeans.
The Italians quickly ran into a 17-6 lead as they dominated Nigerians, and it continued like that for most of the first quarter.
Nigeria had many turnovers that cost them in that first quarter as Italy established a 27-17 lead.
Nigeria fought back in the second quarter and cut the lead to four points. Chimezie Metu made back to back threes to cut Italy’s lead to just one before another turnover cost them.
By halftime, Nigeria had shown enough fight.
Italy started the third quarter with a 7-0 run, but Nigeria fought back again to 45-45. By the end of that quarter, Nigeria led 63-56.
In the fourth, the Italians fought back and took the lead they maintained until the end of the game.
Nigeria lost her first and second games to Australia and Germany.
In another sad news, Nigeria’s medal hopeful Blessing Okagbare, was suspended for doping on Saturday.
The Athletics Integrity Unit said the 32-year-old Nigerian athlete tested positive for a banned substance – human growth hormone.
The ant-doping body said Okagbare who won her heat in 11.05seconds andqualified for the semifinals of women’s 100m race at the Olympics tested positive for the prohibited substance in an out-of-competition test on July 19 – four days before the Olympics opened.
The results of that test were only received by track and field’s anti-doping body late Friday after Okagbare had won her heat.