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Articles

Nigeria wins the Gold in Maputo - Sep 19, 2011


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Nigeria's D'Tigers on Saturday won the gold medal in the mens Basketball event as the national team defeated their host, Mozambique, 62-57 in the final before a huge home crowd.

D Tigers had defeated Angola, the former African Champions, at the semi-finals to set up the epic encounter with Mozambique while the host defeated Algeria, another tough nut, to qualify for the finals.

The Nigeria Basketball team played a defensive game contesting every ball with their opponent to lead 18-14, 28-24, 46-43 and eventually at 62-57 in the four quarters of the game.

The Mozambican fans started trooping into the Desportivo Sports Centre, Maputo, as early as noon for a match scheduled to start at 8 p.m. but did not begin until 8:30 p.m.

However, the Nigeria team, who were not intimidated by the packed crowd at the indoor sports hall, played their hearts out and eventually won the deserved gold medal.

After the epic encounter, the green-white-green Nigerian flag took centre court as the players and few Nigerians who watched the match celebrated.

President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, who witnessed the defeat of his team, presented the medals to the Nigerian players.

However, Sani Ahmed, Coach of Nigerias DTigers, says the gold medal won is a mission accomplished through hard work, determination and discipline exhibited by the players.

''We set out to accomplish this mission and I am very happy that we were able to pick the gold medal and also defeat the Angolans in the semi-finals.

Coach Sani said the team would return home and immediately commence preparations for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Also reacting to the victory, Muktar Khaleh, the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Technical Director, said winning the gold medal at stake at the games was an indication that basketball was developing in the country.

Khaleh, a one-time National Team Captain, said the Federations next objective would be to win the African Womens Championship beginning next week in Mali.

The technical director expressed the hope that with the performance of the mens team at the Games, the women would be motivated to perform well in their tournament in Mali.

Courtesy of http://nigerianpilot.com   



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