In the previous eight times that the Nigerian national basketball team, D’Tigers has faced Angola they have been beaten.
In most case they have been flattened by the Southern Africans except for in 1999 when ironically at home in Luanda they came within eight points of beating them but still lost 79-72 on August the 6th.
So at least on paper when Nigeria stormed into the finals after dismissing Senegal many a pundit instantly wrote them off and considered the finals as lost and just going through the motion because facing them would be their Nemesis – the current Afrobasket champions Angola.
They would all be proved wrong.
Behind a tenacious but even performance and a 19 point game high by MVP Oguchi Nigeria beat the 11 time African champion Angola 74-65 to win her first African title.
Using a suffocating defense that denied Angola their primary option all day long Nigeria also used superb shooting and a total dominance on the boards to dismiss the African powerhouse.
While Angola did lead by six at one point the half time score was 37-26 in favour of the West Africans. It was a lead that never came in jeopardy again.
By the end of the third quarter Nigeria was up by fifteen and when the expected Angolan run did come it was soon suffocated by a no nonsense Nigeria.
With this win Nigeria ends almost two decades of being unable to tame African Basketball.
That has now ended and Nigeria now is not only the best team on the continent but has now also automatically qualified for the Olympics in Rio while serving notice to all of Africa that just like in football, her time has finally come.