Ex-basketball players insist D’Tigers will excel in FIBA qualifiers

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Two former professional basketball players, Seyi Ayodele and Seun Akinwunmi, have tipped the nation’s senior basketball team for excellent outing at the FIBA Africa Basketball Championship qualifiers in Lagos.

The qualifiers are slated for between June 28 and June 30, and the team will play Rwanda, Uganda and Mali when the competition dunks off at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.

The ex-players made the assertion in Lagos.

They said that the team was expected to sail through with ease, adding however, that the players must adopt the right attitude to book a space in the FIBA World Championship.

Ayodele, an ex- International, said the team remained one of the best in Africa, adding that the country paraded some of the brightest stars plying their trades in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

He said the players were in pole position to qualify following their good standing from in the first round of the qualifiers.

“The D’ tigers will easily scale through, the coaching crew knows how to bring the best out of the players.

“Remember they have won the first round of the qualifiers in Mali in 2017. There should not be any problem.

“The D’ Tigers will be playing on home soil and they will have the backing of the Lagos fans who have been longing to see their stars perform.

“This kind of opportunity does not come all the time so it will be a great thing for the fans to watch their favourite players,’’ Ayodele said.

On his part, Akinwunmi ex-Island basketball club player, who aligned himself with Ayodele, said the team had depth of quality that could dislodge most opponents in Africa.

“I am confident the team will fly high in Lagos, however, they should not underrate their opponents as doing so could ignite unwarranted adversity on the team.

“Therefore, they must be focused and work hard for each, especially coming from the fact that they will be playing as a team for the first time in many months,’’ Akinwunmi said.

Meanwhile, the team camp had continued to swell with the arrival of seven new players on Tuesday ahead of the games.

Head Coach, Alex Nwora, Team Manager, Musa Adamu and France-based Emenago Obinna, were the among the first people to report to camp early in the week, while the Assistant coach, Ogoh Odaudu is also in the camp.

Players in camp are Omoerah Keith Saido who plies his trade with Baerum Basketball Club in Norway, Charlotte University’s Braxton, Ogbueze Jai and Mbamalu Bryant who plays for CD Vildivia in Chile.

Others are Prat of Spain player, Agada Caleb Apochi, Antwerp Giant of Belgium power forward, Moses Kingsley, Lavrio of Greece power forward, Mehinti Tosin and Okosun Obehioye.