22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
Game Report
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Angola punish Nigeria to claim three straight wins in Group E


ABIDJAN (Cote d'Ivoire) - Angola moved closer to gaining qualification for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 after beating Nigeria 70-67 to complete the first round of Group E in Abidjan

The Angolans complete a clean slate after beating Uganda, Cape Verde and Nigeria in Window 4 of the African Qualifiers.

Against Nigeria, Angola came out prepared knowing the opposition before them and were full of energy as Coach Jose Claros Canals started Gerson Domingos, Childe Dundao, Jilson Bango, Leonel Paulo and Bruno Fernando to size up the Nigerians.

Gerson Gonçalves, who came off the bench, and Bango led the way for the Angolans with 12 points apiece.  

The game against Nigeria saw five ties with leads changing seven times. In the first quarter alone, there were four ties and a defensive second quarter had scores at 29-27 in favour of Nigeria.

On resumption of the third quarter, Angola utilised every opportunity from the poor ball handling of Nigeria and the turnovers to to catch up scores at 44-44 with Dundao's drive and Bango closing the quarter with a dunk for a score of 50-45.

TURNING POINT: Goncalves stole a ball from Michael Gbinije and finished the play with dunk and Angola didn't allow their lead slip with score at 56-50.

Though Nigeria tried to come back with flashes of three points shots from Amanze Egekeze and drives from Chimezie Metu and Josh Okogie, the Angola's remained resolute in defence.

GAME HERO: Dundao turned out the secret weapon of Angola as he went hard on the Nigeria defence with his drives and dribbles that earned him a total of 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. The 24-year-old point guard standing at 5'6" caused the Nigeria team troubles creating scoring opportunities for his team.

The control he created was helpful for Angola and that gave the bench some confidence to start an early celebration even with the efforts of Okogie to tie the game with a last second three points attempt.

STATS DON'T LIE: Angola were 43% (26/61) in Field-Goal, scoring 20 points from turnovers and 40 points in the paint with 22 points coming from the bench.

Though, Amanze and Metu scored 18 points and 17 points respectively, it was not enough to help Nigeria.

THEY SAID: "We knew that a lot depended on our defence in this game and we made sure to try to stop the key players of Nigeria. When I am in a game, all I do is think about the best way possible for my team to win and give my contribution to it. Our defence played a huge role in our victory today." - Angola guard Gerson Goncalves.

"Our plan from the beginning of the game like I told the players in the locker room was that we will keep Nigeria in check and win the game in the last 10 minutes of the game. These players have worked hard and deserve this win but we cannot relent now because the job is not done yet. I am glad with the wins we have so far and will look forward to bringing an additional two other players to further boost the team." - Angola Head Coach Joseph Claros

"What was frustrating for us was that we turned the ball over 22 times and was the difference in the game. We out rebounded them but we didn't take care of the balls getting into the basket. However, we will get back and work towards the next window." - Nigeria guard Amanze Egezeke.

"It was a tough loss for us and I must say that the players fought hard but victory did not come our way. It's no over for Nigeria yet given that there is a another window. We will keep playing and giving our best till the last day of the qualifiers." - Nigeria Head Coach Mfon Udofia.