Nigeria’s D’Tigress players and officials celebrate after their victory at the 2017 Afrobasket Championship in Mali.
The Head Coach of D’Tigress Otis Hughley has expressed confidence in his players’ ability to successfully defend the FIBA Afrobasket title they won two years ago in Mali. The 2019 FIBA Afrobasket commences on August 9, in Dakar Senegal and the D’Tigress rankd number two in Africa are highly favoured to win the championship.
Following the team’s draw against Tunisia and Cameroon at the official draw ceremony held in Dakar, Senegal, Otis said the team can mount a strong title defence with the talents at his disposal.
The team will hope to bury the ghost of their 2015 misadventure where they narrowly lost to host-Cameroon 70-71 in the semifinal under Coach Scott Nnaji. “I know Cameroon has a good history against us. They beat Nigeria in the 2015 semis. At this level, anybody can be beaten any day, so we are taking all the teams as the same. No matter who they are, we are going to play them hard and tough”.
Despite exuding confidence about their chances at the AFROBASKET holding in Dakar, Senegal, Otis cautioned that winning the title for the fourth time will not come cheap. “It is a round ball, no matter what, it is still going to bounce. We are still going to worry about health and how the chemistry is going to pan out this year because we have not had a lot of time to train together”.
The reigning African Champions went 8 games unbeaten to clinch the 2017 title in Bamako, Mali defeating Senegal, 65-48 points to win the title. Nigeria (Defending Champions), Senegal (host), Mali and Angola have been tipped as favourites by bookmakers.
The DailyTrust News