AfroBasket defending champions, Nigeria have reason to smile as the regulatory body in charge of players’ eligibility has cleared all the players on her rooster.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF was ecstatic Saturday night with the news of the clearances that came from the FIBA office in Switzerland.
Meanwhile, D’Tigress Head Coach, Otis Hughley has reiterarted his confidence that his team has a good chance of successfully defending their FIBA AFROBASKET title when the competition gets underway on August 10, 2019.
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 defense with the talents at his disposal.
Having led the team to a historic eighth place finish at the 2018 World Cup in Spain, Otis is aware of the buzz already created around D’Tigress ranked number 2 in Africa.
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 favorites by bookmakers.