Rio Olympics: Basketball buffs lament D’Tigers loss, urge team work

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Basketball enthusiasts on Monday expressed disappointment with the 66-94 loss of the senior men’s national team to Argentina, saying the D’Tigers did not function as a team in their approach.

D’Tigers playing in the first match of their Group B of the basketball event at the ongoing Rio Olympics fell to the superiority of the South Americans.

The fans told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the team needed to raise their game if they want to make an impact in the competition.

The Head Coach of Kwara Falcons, Adewunmi Aderemi, said that though the D’Tigers gave their best, one had to accept that Argentina was a powerhouse in basketball.

“We played a very tough team that has been virtually present in all basketball events of the Olympics, so we should give credit to our players for their performance.

“D’Tigers need to be more team conscious of negative play and stop playing as individuals who are chasing personal glory,’’ Aderemi said.

He added that for us to make impact in the group, the team would have to work harder and play for each other.

“I feel the short time the team had to prepare has contributed to the team’s individualistic approach; sincerely, they played as if they have yet to fully gel as a team.

“They cannot continue to play like this considering the other opponents in the group who are also top ranked in the world of basketball.

“They need to play for each other, especially at their offence which lacked the right attitude when they met Argentina,’’ Aderemi said.

Similarly, the Head Coach of Dolphins Basketball Club of Lagos, Ochuko Okworogun, on her part said the team fell apart when they could not make their three point’s shots.

“It is a sad loss considering the effort they put into the game, but one area that was obvious that could have given the team a better chance was the three points.

“The team needs to step up their game on the offensive and work harder at the three points line,’’ Okworogun said.

Dele Awonuga, who handles a grassroots basketball team, told NAN that the team met a tougher opposition and did give their best but it was not good enough.

“We played a better team though as Africa Champions, we needed to play with better prestige but it was as if the team felt they could not compete with the Argentines.

“The team needs better motivation and needs to work on their morale to be able to lift themselves and play other tougher oppositions in their group.

“Nigeria is counting on them and the whole nation is with them in prayers,’’ Awonuga said.

NAN reports that next up for D’Tigers is a tricky test against Lithuania in their second game on Aug. 9, before battling Spain on
Aug. 11 at the Carioca Arena in Rio.

They face Croatia and Brazil on the Aug. 13 and Aug. 15 respectively.

The top four classified teams from the two available Groups A and B will then move on to the final phase.

This will be played in a standard knock-out system consisting of quarter-finals, semi-finals, bronze medal game and gold medal game. (NAN)

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