AfroBasket Qualifiers 2025: Libya stuns Nigeria in historic overtime victory


In a stunning turn of events that sent shockwaves through the basketball world, Libya’s national basketball team secured a historic 89-82 overtime victory against Nigeria in the first game of the 2025 AfroBasket Qualifiers that went into overtime.

This remarkable win was propelled by an exceptional performance from Mohamed Sadi, who was just a rebound short of achieving a quadruple-double, a feat that would have been the first in the history of the AfroBasket Qualifiers.

Sadi, whose prowess on the court has never explicitly aimed at putting Libya’s name back on the African basketball map, did just that with a masterful display of skill and determination. By the game’s end, he had amassed an astounding triple-double, recording 24 points, 12 assists, and 10 steals, alongside 9 rebounds, setting a new benchmark in the tournament’s history.

His all-around performance disrupted Nigeria’s offense and inspired his team, particularly against taller and heavier opponents, showcasing his indomitable spirit and leadership.

Supporting Sadi’s monumental effort, Sofian Hamad delivered an 18-point performance off the bench, and Mohamed Buzgaiya contributed 15 points and 8 rebounds, setting Libya on a promising path in the Qualifiers.

Nigeria, led by Mike Nuga’s game-high 31 points, faced an uphill battle exacerbated by 27 turnovers and a late arrival in Tunisia for their first Group B game. These challenges proved too substantial for the former African champions, who saw their initial 16-point deficit erased only to falter in the final moments of the game.

The turning point came when Libya, displaying exceptional tenacity and strategic acumen, outscored Nigeria 13-0 in the game’s opening five minutes. Despite Nigeria’s efforts to claw back into the lead, a combination of sloppy plays and a critical shot clock violation in the last 45 seconds paved the way for Libya’s 14-7 run in overtime, maintaining their unbeaten streak in the Qualifiers.

Sadi, the game hero, remained modest about his historical achievement, focusing instead on the team’s victory and jokingly lamenting his missed opportunity for a quadruple-double. His performance, emblematic of Libya’s determination, was a key factor in their win, alongside a bench that outscored Nigeria’s 22-4.

This game underscored the challenges teams face when underprepared, as Nigeria’s decision to compete with only nine players significantly impacted their performance. This loss marks the first time a top-10 team in Africa has succumbed to an unranked team, highlighting the unpredictable nature of the sport and the rising talent across the continent.

Libya’s head coach, Fouad Chakra, praised the Nigerian team’s resilience but credited his team’s ability to adapt and overcome challenges, particularly in pushing the game into overtime and ultimately securing a win that will be remembered for years to come in AfroBasket history.

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