The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has declared that both the male and female teams, D’Tigers and D’Tigress, will be fully prepared to confront top basketball nations at the Tokyo Olympics.
The draws for the Olympics basketball events were made on Tuesday with the female team, D’Tigress, pitched against the host nation, Japan, USA and France. The male team will face Australia.
Speaking with The Guardian shortly after the draws was released by World Basketball governing body, FIBA, the vice president of NBBF, Babs Ogunade, said that pairing D’Tigress against USA and other top teams in the group stage would not pose much challenges to Nigeria. He stated that quality preparations would be given to the teams ahead of the Olympics.
He said: “The draws did not put any fear on NBBF. We must realise that Olympics is not Inter House sports competition. Quality oppositions are expected at this level. Our male and female teams had competed with the top basketball nations like USA before. The Nigeria teams are not under pressure or scared of any team. The target of the coaches is to assemble the best players and with quality preparations, I am sure Nigeria basketball teams will make a mark in Japan.”
The Guardian recalls that the last meeting between D’Tigress and USA ended in a slim 76-71 points in favor of the Americans despite Nigeria leading in the most parts of the game.
The D’Tigers will open their camp next week for the AFRO Basketball qualifiers slated for February 17 in Monastir, Tunisia. The Olympics games will be held between July 23 and August 8, 2021, after its initial postponement due to COVID-19 pandemic.