D’Tigers stand-in head coach, Alan Major has given reasons why the Nigerian team was defeated by Cape Verde in Friday’s 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup first round qualifiers in Rwanda.
Featuring in their fourth game of the qualifiers, D’Tigers lost 79-70 to suffer a second defeat to Cape Verde in the series.
Speaking at the press conference, Major highlighted the team’s turnover ratio and rebound efforts which he said was responsible for the loss despite crediting the team for their resilience and hardwork.
“They (Cape Verde) had 16 points from our turnovers, 11 second-chance points from 16 offensive rebounds. These are some things we can clean up, but I do like the effort. We fought back and had the lead, but we gave up a big put back to Williams Tavares.
“Congratulations to Cape Verde, they played well. They got a cushion on us at halftime. I thought our guys did a great job by fighting back to take the lead towards the end of the match, but you know in a game like this, you do not have much margin for error,”Major explained.
He said the team got scared towards the end of the game and rushed their plays in a quest to restore their lead, giving their opponent the winning edge.
“We just have to go back, watch some films, clean up some things and be ready to play again.”
Speaking further, he added:”We wanted to go out there and try to win the game. We did that for stretches of the game but Cape Verde played together. They have been together and practicing more than we have.”
Meanwhile, D’Tigers’ opponent for today’s clash, Mali, failed to show up for their game against Uganda which saw the latter awarded a 20-0 win on Friday.
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