Nigeria advanced to the semifinals at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament with an 80-79 win over Greece on Friday. Ike Diogu led the way with 17 points and 12 rebounds, setting up a bout with Russia for an Olympic bid.
After two quarters, Greece held a 12-point lead, 42-30. Vasileios Spanoulis scored 25 points to lead the Greeks. It was perhaps telling that the 6'4" guard led the team in rebounds (7), however. For the game, Nigeria held a 36-27 advantage on the boards, 16 of which came on the offensive glass.
For the game, Greece shot 57.1 percent from the field to 42.6 percent for Nigeria. Greece left a lot of points at the free throw line, however, going 17-for-28 for the game. Nigeria shot 18-for-20 from the stripe.
With the loss, a strong Greek team has been eliminated from the pool at the 2012 London Olympics. Nigeria can solidify their bid with a win over Russia. Lose, and they will play the loser of the other semifinal for the last of three spots to London.