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Nigeria destroy all five opponents so far, return to World Cup 12 years later
LAGOS (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers) - The Central African Republic (CAF) on Saturday became the fifth victim of Nigeria's dominance in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers.
Point guard Ikenna Iroegbu inspired the former African champions to a 114-69 win over CAF to help his country increase their World Cup Qualifiers record to an impressive 8-0.
Iroegbu's 18 points were the most of six Nigerians who finished in double figures while Johan Grebongo came off the bench to try and spark the Central Africans' offense with his team-high 17 points.
Nigeria led all but five minutes, moved the ball better with 20 assists against CAF's 13, but Nigeria's rotation set them apart as their bench outscored CAF's 59-27.
The win was good enough to help Nigeria return to the World Cup for the first time since 2006.
"Even though we had a short training camp - we are professionals, we know how to play the game - all credit to coach [Alex Nwora] for picking great guys to play with," Iroegbu told FIBA.basketball.
Ikenna Iroegbu (Nigeria)
Nwora added: "We work collectively as a group, the more we work together, the better we get, and we showed it today."
CAF captain Max Kouguere admitted that "it was tough playing against Nigeria. They have experienced players. We did our best in the first half, but, eventually, we gave up because we have an important game tomorrow."
Nigeria will play Senegal on Sunday in a bid to extend their World Cup Qualifiers winning streak.