How Nigeria Was crowned 2015 AfroBasket champions

Nigeria beat Angola 74-65 in the Final of 2015 AfroBasket in Rades, Tunisia to claim their first-ever continental championship.

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Nigeria’s players celebrate following winning trophy of the 2015 FIBA Afrobasket Championship after beating Angola basketball team at Omnisport Hall in Rades, Tunisia on August 30, 2015. Amine Landoulsi / Anadolu Agency

In being crowned African champions, the Nigerians also qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Meanwhile, second-place Angola joined third- and fourth-place Tunisia and Senegal in booking their places for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs).

Angola went into the Final looking to win a 12th African title and led early on, before Nigeria’s rotation made the difference as they turned the score around in the second quarter and once they took the lead, they held on to it, going up by as many as 19 points.

Chamberlain Oguchi hit a trifecta of three-pointers on his way to a game-high 19 points for Nigeria, Olaseni Lawal finished with a dozen. Carlos Morais led the Angolans with 15 points while Yanick Moreira added 13.

Oguchi was rewarded for his impressive tournament and huge individual performance in the Final by receiving the Most Valuable Player award.

The 29-year-old headlined the All-Star Five which also included his Nigeria team-mate Al-Farouq Aminu, Morais of Angola, Tunisia’s Makram Ben Romdhane and Gorgui Dieng of Senegal.

“It’s the best moment of my life, to be able to come here after missing the last AfroBasket, to be able to come here and do this with my brothers, it feels amazing,” Oguchi said afterwards.

“I’m happy to be able to share this moment with them and for me personally, it’s just really great.”

Tunisia bounced back from their Semi-Final defeat to Angola on Saturday to beat Senegal 82-73 in Sunday’s Third-Place Game. Michael Roll made 4 of his 8 three-point attempts to lead all scorers with 25 points as the tournament hosts – despite playing without their star Salah Mejri – led for most of the contest and gave their fans something to cheer about.

In the Classification Games, Egypt edged out Algeria 69-63 to finish fifth, Mali came in seventh after defeating Gabon 94-82, Cameroon cruised past Cape Verde 88-66 for ninth place, Mozambique topped Cote d’Ivoire 70-63 for 11th place, Morocco saw off Central African Republic (CAF) 86-74 for 13th place and Uganda defeated Zimbabwe 72-64 for 15th place.

Final standings of AfroBasket 2015:
Nigeria
2. Angola
3. Tunisia
4. Senegal
5. Egypt
6. Algeria
7. Mali
8. Gabon
9. Cameroon
10. Cape Verde
11. Mozambique
12. Cote d’Ivoire
13. Morocco
14. Central African Republic (CAF)
15. Uganda
16. Zimbabwe

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Iheanyi Igboko is a social advocate, educator and journalist/blogger; working actively in the education and human development sector. He is passionate about promoting access to quality education, increasing youth active participation and engagement, and empowering young people to develop solutions to their problems. He craves unending hopes of a better Nigeria that will meet the hopes and aspirations of her citizens; and committed to building a nation that will seamlessly harness and develop her numerous human and capital potentials.

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