FIBA U-16 African Championship: Nigeria shifts focus to Angola

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Fubara Onyanabo, Nigeria’s U-16 male basketball team Head Coach, on Monday said that he was not carried away by the victory against host, Cape Verde, at the ongoing FIBA U-16 African Championship.

Nigeria’s junior D’Tigers bounced back from a 77-86 loss to Egypt in their opening group game to record a massive 64-39 point’s win against host country Cape Verde.

Fubara said on Monday in a statement that all attention had now been shifted to their third game on Tuesday against Angola which had earlier lost to three time Champions, Egypt by 61-86 points.

The coach praised his boys for playing to instruction which gave them the victory which, he said, had boosted their confidence ahead of the game against Angola.

The junior D’Tigers bounced back to pull off a win in front of the intimidating home fans as Reuben Chinyelu Abuchi posted a double-double performance.

Abuchi, coming from the bench recorded 20 points and 21 rebounds.

James Okemerie, who also shone superbly in the game was second best scorer of the night with 12 points, while Bormini Dennis contributed eight points and two assists.

The Port Harcourt-based coach said that the tactics to be adopted would be uniquely tailored to the opposition and assured Nigerians of an improved performance in their next game.

“Everything depends on the strength and quality of the opposition, while the Cape Verdeans are not too tall and strong, we were able to overcome everything thrown at us.

“The Egyptians were tough to crack both offensively and defensively but against Cape Verde, it was different.

“We are going to adopt a different strategy against Angola. We are coming to the court and we are not going to respect anybody because we are all here to ball,” Fubara said.

Having admitted that the journey to the final seems far, Fubara said the only way to appreciate the Nigeria Basketball Federation is to qualify for the 2019 FIBA U-17 World Championship in Bulgaria.

“As you are aware, the last time we took part in this competition was in 2015. For the NBBF to bring us here means we are here for serious business. We are here to qualify for the World Cup.”