Sports

Final whistle for D’Tigers at Tokyo Olympics after Italy’s 71-80 defeat

Nigeria’s D’Tigers lost their third Group B game in the men’s basketball event of the Tokyo Olympics 71-80 to Italy.

It was their third loss in a row, and they finished bottom of their group.

Chimezie Metu scored 22 points and Jordan Nwora added 20 for Nigeria. Jahlil Okafor scored 14 for Nigeria, who were at the Games with a team comprising entirely of Olympic debutants.

D’Tigers opened the summer with exhibition wins over the U.S. and Argentina in Las Vegas but went no further in their first Olympic appearance under coach Mike Brown.

Nigeria led 63-56 after three quarters and saw the lead grow before the play even resumed. Italy’s Michele Vitali got a technical for trying to slap the ball away before it was inbounded to start the fourth quarter, so before the 10-minute clock even started Nigeria’s seven-point lead increased to an eight-point edge.

ALSO READ: Nigerian athlete, Blessing Okagbare, suspended from Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Nigeria didn’t score for nearly seven minutes from there, and Mannion’s wide-open 3-pointer with 29.9 seconds left sealed the win for Italy

Italy, meanwhile, are headed back to the Olympic quarterfinals.

This is another blow for team Nigeria, coming few hours after the Athletic Integrity Unit (AIU) provisionally suspended Blessing Okagbare with immediate effect.

AIU revealed that an out-of-competition sample from Okagbare tested positive for human growth hormone.

The AIU informed Okagbare of her suspension on Saturday morning, it said. Under doping regulations, she is now allowed to request that a “B” sample — or backup sample — is tested to double-check the results.

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