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Tokyo 2020: Nigeria Men's Basketball Fading Dream

The Nigeria men's basketball team popularly known as D'Tigers drew lots of attention, just a few days before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games after they defeated the United States of America and Argentina world number 1 and number 4 respectively.  

The team raised everyone consciousness and Nigerians become hopeful that something good can come from the D'Tigers and even dreamt of a podium finish for the team at the Olympic proper. 

Fast forward to the Olympics, the Mike Brown led team are on the brink of Tokyo 2020 Olympic elimination after back to back losses as the podium finish dream is fading by the day as the fans are now to deal with the reality.

The first loss was against Australia, the Nigerian side shows lots of guts and power but wasn't enough as they were blown out in the 4th quarter 26-13 to end the closely contested encounter by 84-67.  

With lots of positives to take to the next games, it is expected that the few mistakes noticed in the first game will be corrected against Germany but the Nigerians also lost to the Germans by 92-99 in the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

In a game player at Saitama, Japan, Nigeria needed a victory to bounce back after the opening day defeat to Australia but threw away an 11 points lead to succumb to another defeat in the series. 

The Nigeria team ran out of gas in the 4th quarter as the Germans led 14-0 in the final minutes to record their first victory in the competition having lost their first game against Italy by 92-82. 

The Nigeria side is faced with elimination, as the D'Tigers is the only side in the group that is yet to win any game in the group.  

The hope of getting a podium finish is fading as the battle is now to win their first game and getting out of the group as one of the quarter-finalists

The only hope for the team is to defeat Italy, the team last group game on Saturday. The Nigerian team has what take to achieve this. 

The potential in the team is huge, the coach just needs to come up with a winning formula, correct the little mistakes noticed in the first two games and hopefully, the Italians crumble. 

This is the time Nigeria needs to unleash the Tigers in them and repeat the incredible form they exhibited against the Americans and the Argentines before the Olympics.

The D'Tigers need the help of Australia, the strongest team in the pool, to defeat Italy on Wednesday and then beat Germany on Saturday, this the Australian team will do comfortably.

A defeat for Germany and Italy will leave the group open and all Nigeria need to do is to defeat Italy, they have shown they have what it takes.

I believe the Nigeria spirit will prevail in the final match and the Italians will be defeated as the team will be extra motivated with a qualification ticket insight.

They are in a position to take one of the two best losers' tickets available as the two-third best will join the first and second finishers in each group to complete the 8 teams roaster for the quarter finals. 

All expectations are hinged on hope, hopefully, everything will fall in place for the young team and get the needed victory against Italy and then a quarter-final berth of which Nigerians can renew the hope of a podium finish all over again.

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