Nigeria will make its final push for a quarterfinal ticket today when D’Tigers will file out against Uganda at the ongoing 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Championship.
After narrowly failing to top its group on the back of a narrow loss to Côte d’Ivoire in their last group game, Nigeria will square off against the third placed team in group D for a quarter final place.
Coach Mike Brown at the end of their training yesterday charged the team to use their loss to Côte d’Ivoire as a learning curve when they step out against Uganda.
He advised the players to play as a cohesive unit while sticking to their plays against their East African opposition who are also in search of a rare quarter final ticket.
“To go through that experience as a group was really good for us. Hopefully it will help us in the next game and further if we win the next game. I am looking forward to the challenge and I think the guys are too”.
“We have to play harder for longer stretches than how we did against Côte d’Ivoire and we have to play together.
They got up in our chest, they frustrated us and they were hard on us. It wasn’t an easy game for us which was different for our guys”’ Brown said.
The team will be looking up to its captain, Stephen Domingo to rediscover his form after a sterling show in the first game against Mali where he scored 16 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Uzodinma Utomi and Benjamin Emelogu will also play huge roles in the playoff after a run of good games.
FIBA World Cup qualifiers draws hold in
Meanwhile, D’Tigers will know their 2021 FIBA World Cup qualification foes today as the official draw ceremony takes centre stage in Mies, Switzerland.
16 teams will be competing for just five tickets to the World Cup to be co-hosted by Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.
The teams will be divided into four groups with qualifiers played over five windows starting in November, 2022. The qualification series will end in February 2023.
Games will be played in a round robin format with the top three teams in each group advancing to the next round where they will be grouped into two groups of 6 teams.
At the end of the qualification matches, the top two teams will automatically qualify for the World Cup alongside the third best team making a total of five teams representing Africa.
In the run up to the 2019 World Cup held in China, Nigeria hosted two windows in Lagos while becoming the first country in the world to qualify for the championship on the back of an unbeaten run.
After emerging as the best placed African team in China, the team snatched the sole Olympics ticket after winning three games and losing only two.