By Joe Apu
Nigeria on Friday secured a second win at the on-going Afrobasket 2021 with a 71-55 win over Kenya.
D’Tigers, as the Nigerian team is known recorded their second victory in the tournament winning 20-8, 14-18, 15-13 and 22-16.
Despite Nigeria parading a new bunch of players, the number one ranked country in Africa took a comfortable first quarter lead of 20-8 but Kenya under the guidance of Liz Mills looked ready to put up a fight which earned them 18-14 win in the second quarter but the third and fourth quarter proved different with Uzodinma Utomi leading the floor for the Nigeria side with 17 points, two rebounds and one assist to finish up the Kenyans..
Jeremiah Mordi drained 10 points, five rebounds and one assist to help Nigeria to a comfortable win. TK Edogi scored 9 points, 4rebounds and 1 assist while Jordan Ogundiran had 9pts with an impressive 75% field goal conversion.
Coach Mike Brown at the press conference emphasised on the need to improve as a team most especially defensively.
“I think we had some good shots offensively tonight that didn’t go in but our effort was inconsistent offensively and I thought that was what hurt us more”.
Brown said the team played better in the second half despite a good defensive effort from Kenya.
“When defense stiffens up, we get tighter or better. All we have to do is drive the basketball. When we drive the basketball, the defence will collapse and if we are unselfish, which the guys have been most part, we make the right pass and the floor is spaced, we are going to get good shots offensively.”
Reacting further, Brown said, “We don’t want people to believe in us. We believe in us and that is all that matters. We haven’t played well. We played better in the second half though, I thought as a team. Even in the first game we did not play real good and we played better in the first game than the second game”
“We can be better, we believe in ourselves and we believe we can continue to get better as the tournament goes along”, Brown said.
Nigeria will play Côte d’Ivoire on Sunday in its last group game.