Tokyo Olympics: D’Tigers Eliminated After Loss To Italy

Nigeria’s D’Tigers are out of the basketball event of the Tokyo Olympics after losing to Italy 80-71 on Saturday in Saitama.

It was the third loss in a row for the African champions, following earlier defeats to Australia and Germany.

Chimezie Metu scored 22 points and Jordan Nwora added 20 for Nigeria. Jahlil Okafor scored 14 for Nigeria, who were at the Games with a team comprising entirely of Olympic debutants.

D’Tigers opened the summer with exhibition wins over the U.S. and Argentina in Las Vegas but went no further in their first Olympic appearance under coach Mike Brown.

Nigeria led 63-56 after three quarters and saw the lead grow before the play even resumed. Italy’s Michele Vitali got a technical for trying to slap the ball away before it was inbounded to start the fourth quarter, so before the 10-minute clock even started Nigeria’s seven-point lead increased to an eight-point edge.

Nigeria didn’t score for nearly seven minutes from there, and Mannion’s wide-open 3-pointer with 29.9 seconds left sealed the win for Italy

The Italians finished their group campaign with two wins and a loss, securing five points while D’Tigers lost all three games in Tokyo and exit with three points.