Aminu, Nigeria upset in FIBA Africa knockout round
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
After competing in the 2012 London Olympics last summer, New Orleans Pelicans small forward Al-Farouq Aminu was hoping to participate in next year’s FIBA World Championships in Spain. Unfortunately for Aminu and the Nigeria men’s basketball team, a Wednesday afternoon loss ended that possibility.
In the round of eight, Senegal shocked Nigeria by a narrow 64-63 margin, eliminating Nigeria from contention. The top three teams in the FIBA Africa event qualify for the 2014 World Championships, meaning Nigeria needed to win twice more to ensure a berth.
Nigeria (4-2) was defeated for a second straight day on Thursday, falling to Cape Verde 79-76. Aminu finished with 13 points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal in 23 minutes of playing time. Former NBA player Ike Diogu paced Nigeria with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Over six games at FIBA Africa, Aminu’s averages are 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists. He also totaled 14 steals and five blocked shots.