FIBA Women World Cup: D’Tigress confident of good outing

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Members of the senior national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, say the team had the capacity to excel at the forthcoming FIBA World Cup in Tenerife, Spain.

The 14-man team which arrived in Lagos on Monday from their Atlanta, U.S. base, is currently training ahead of the biggest competition in basketball at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Suruelere.

They say they were proud to be available to represent Nigeria at the World Cup and also ready for the tournament.

Nkeshi Akashili of First Bank of Nigeria Basketball Club said that she was happy to finally join the team and was doing everything possible to contribute to the team’s success.

“It’s a great atmosphere and a highly intensified preparation ahead of the competition; I look forward to making the team and contribute my quota.

“Its going be a tough World Cup because the best players will be there to represent their countries as well but we are not short of quality players.

“The team’s chemistry is great and built around hard work where everybody is striving to give her best for a team jersey.

“I hope to make the team at the end and play my role to see we do well in Spain,’’ Akashili said.

Evelyn Akhator, a former Dallas Wings of the U.S. Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) currently playing in Besiktas, Turkey, said the team would do well at the World Cup.

“I am happy to be here to give my contributions to the team, its going to be tough in Spain but with a lot of hard work we are sure of doing well at the end.

“I am looking forward to a great championship that will have the best players in the world competing, and also confident of the quality of players in our squad.

“The team is in good spirit, we just do the necessary drills and fitness training, sincerely, we can make the country proud in Spain,’’ she said.

For Ezinne Kalu-Phelps, the team’s chemistry is just great and so much is being put together to ensure a great outing in Spain.

“I think we are a formidable team; we have the quality to lift the country high and ensure we make everybody proud at the end.

“The team’s coach, Otis Hughley, has a good approach and he has settled down with the team to give us the necessary drills and what is expected of us,’’ Kalu-Phelps said.

Nigeria, who qualified as Africa’s Champions is in group B along Australia, Turkey and Argentina and will play their first game on Sept. 22.