Nigeria's D'Tigers began their 2021 Afrobasket tournament campaign with a commanding 81-73 victory over a tenacious Malian club.
A young Nigerian squad captained by Stephen Domingo scored the most points in the triumph, which was its first since a win against Argentina in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics.

After jumping out to a 28-12 advantage in the first quarter, the Malians battled back to within touching distance thanks to fatigue-induced mistakes and errant shooting.

The D'Tigers were able to hold on to a 44-43 lead at halftime.

The Mike Brown-led team jumped out to a 71-53 lead in the third quarter, and they were able to hold off the marauding Malians in the fourth quarter to win the game.

Benjamin Emelogu, who led the squad with 18 points, four assists, and eight rebounds, had an outstanding day on the court, shooting 60.0 percent from three-point range and scoring all of his points on ten attempts.

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Domingo, who spent the NBA Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs, finished with 16 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds.

Uzodinma Utomi led the squad in scoring with 15 points, while TK Edogi led the team in rebounding with 12 and contributed 5 points offensively.

Brown applauded his players after the game for keeping their heads above water in the first game against a powerful African club.

“We have to take better care of the ball; we can't foul,” he remarked. Teams will be defeated, and teams will be shocked. All you can do is learn from it and perhaps grow as a result.”

Nigeria's next match will be against Kenya.

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