D’Tigers are just one win away from securing the sole ticket reserved for an African team for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Head coach Alex Nwora and forward Al-Farouq Aminu said the team’s next target was to secure victory over China when both sides meet in their final classification match on Sunday (today).
D’Tigers won only one of their three group games and eventually missed out on a place in the second round of the tournament but retained the chance to secure automatic Olympics qualification after fellow African sides Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Angola also made first round exits.
D’Tigers currently lead the race for the Olympics slot after an 83-66 points victory over Ivory Coast in their first classification game on Friday.
Nwora says the team’s focus is now on claiming another win over hosts China.
“I think we did a good job to contain a well-coached Ivoirian team. I am proud of these guys and their efforts. I think we have one more game to worry about against China on Sunday,” Nwora said.
Aminu, who grabbed 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists, was named Most Valuable Player in the demolition of Ivory Coast, said the team had resolved to ensure the consolatory prize of automatic qualification for the Olympics.
“We got knocked out of contention to get a medal, so we had to change our vision and continue to make sure that we keep Nigerian basketball, playing every year and compete. So, we want to make sure we do the best job to qualify for the Olympics.”
D’Tigersplay China at 1pm Nigerian time at the Guangzhou Gymnasium.