Members of D’Tigers Keith Sado (left), Agada Caleb, Braxton Ogbueze, Okosu Augustine and Tosin Idowu at the reception of the team as they arrived at the Murtala Muhammed Internatinal Airport in Lagos…on Tuesday.
Expectations are high as D’Tigers, led by seasoned head coach, Alex Nwora, returned to the country to continue their perfect start on the road to China.
The match is scheduled for the National Stadium, Surulere between June 29 and July 1.
Nigeria’s national basketball team joined FIBA in 1964.
Due to the steady increase in talents from Nigeria as well as the organized recruitment of professional players of Nigerian descent, especially from the NCAA, the team’s success has continued to grow.
And following a strong performance in Mali, D’Tigers are looking to book a place in the China 2019 edition.
The first leg of the qualifiers was held in Bamako, Mali, where D’Tigers became the third team to boast a 100 per cent winning record in Africa.
A particular highlight of this was a blowout of host nation Mali by 82-59.
Emerging as runaway leaders of group B, there are many reasons to be optimistic as they return home to protect home soil.
Returnees like Ben Uzoh, a former NBA player, who currently holds an NBA record with the Toronto Raptors as the first rookie with a triple double, and Ike Diogu, the fourth pick in the NBA draft, will be expected to maintain high-level performances that proved instrumental for the team in Mali.
Preparation is expected to begin instantly with the team beginning training imminently before flying to Cote d’Ivoire on Friday, June 22 to compete in two competitive friendlies against Cote d’Ivoire.
The back room staff has expressed the importance of getting some synergy, as this will be instrumental to the team’s success.
Speaking on the game, Ogbueze said he is excited to be back in Nigeria.
“My father is from here and it’s a blessing to be here.
It is very important to be here and it is such a blessing to come represent my fatherland,” adding that this was his first time coming home.