Nigeria D’Tigers Thursday survive the stiff challenge posed by its quarter final foe Central Africa Republic winning by 94-86 points to book a semi-final ticket in the 26th FIBA Africa Championship for Men at the Palais des Sports Antananarivo, Madagascar.
The Nigeria blew a 20 points way into the half minutes of the fourth quarter thus allowing the Central Africa side to rally back and take the lead with 4.47 munites left on the clock through Maxime Zianveni executed a lay-up to bring score to 73-74 but the Nigerian side fought back like a wounded tigers to take the sail beyond the determined Central Africa side in the last munite of the tension soaked game to win at 94-86.
Nigeria won the first three quarters by 28-19, 20-18, 25-20 but lost the last quarter by 21-29 to set up a semi final duel against the winner of the quarter final game between Cameroon and Angola.
Nigeria Derrick Obasohan led the floor with 24 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists dependable guard/forward Ime Udoka had 20 points 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 5 steals points guard Michael Umeh poured in 19 points while forward Ejike Ugboaja added 10 points and 7 rebounds for the hard earned victory for Nigeria.
Nigeria Head Coach Ayo Bakare praised his players fighting spirit and promised that the Nigerian side will approach it semi-final game with utmost seriousness.
He however, gave kudos to the Central Africa side for giving the Nigeria side a good fight, adding that the 26th edition of the championship is indeed tough as most African countries have raised their game.