By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Nigeria and South Korea are heading to Guangzhou, but first met at Wuhan to wrap up their first round run. The African team avoided a 0-3 finish with a 108-66 victory in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Group B contest.
Michael Eric was the top performer notching 17 points and 9 rebounds in just 17:50 of work. Ike Diogu followed with 16 points. Chimezie Metu only needed 19:39 for 15 points and 9 rebounds.
Nnamdi Vincent added 9 points and represented his teammates in the post-game press conference. “We had high expectations coming here” he confessed. “It was reassuring playing the basketball we know we can play.”
Alexander Nwora’s side blew the game open in the second quarter launching a 25-5 run. The Nigerians afterwards preserved their gained advantage to secure the crucial victory in impressive fashion.
“We did a lot of good stuff today. We improved” the Nigerian head coach pointed out. “We still have two games to go and want to finish strong.”
Hopes for an historic run at China for Nigeria were crushed in previous days by Russia and Argentina. However, an Olympic qualifiers berth is still available.
Wednesday’s result brought the D’Tigers to 1-2 and the Koreans to 0-3 ahead of Group M action. The pair of national teams will collide with Ivory Coast and one more Group A team in the classification games.
On the last first round game for the Koreans, Guna Ra posted 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the double-double in losing effort. Seounghyun Lee was the only other double-digit scorer with 12 points.
“We handled toughness inside the paint in the beginning, but lost our rhythm” head coach Sang Shik Kim took out. “That was the main reason we lost.”
“We were undersized compared to Nigeria” said Heejong Yang after scoring 3 points in 11:54. “We focused on team defense to cover our disadvantage, but it was not enough.”
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL