D’Tigers head coach, Alex Nwora, has stated that there would be no margin for errors when his side face their West African rivals, Ivory Coast, in Friday’s classification match in Guangzhou.
Nwora’s side are bidding to pick an automatic qualification ticket to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after failing to advance from Group B.
D’Tigers, who have a better points deficit compared to the other four African teams, must beat Ivory Coast and hosts China to qualify for the Olympics.
“The team has continued to improve and we hope to step it up on Friday (today).
“Tunisia, Senegal, Angola and Ivory Coast will all be desperate to get the Olympic ticket. So we must get our acts right and get the job done.” He said.
Nigeria defeated Ivory Coast in Lagos 84-73 during the World Cup qualifiers but lost 72-46 in Abidjan.
“We have played each other in the past but this is different. The stakes are now high and we are all aware of that. All the games we played in the past will count for nothing at this stage,” Nwora added.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Basketball Federation President, Musa Ahmadu-Kida, is considering the financial implications of prosecuting the Olympics Qualification Tournament should the team fail to qualify automatically for the Olympics from the World Cup.
“It’s important for the team to grab the only ticket on offer for Africa at the World Cup,
“Inviting players, camping them and playing the OQT will involve money which can be channeled to developing basketball back home.
“The boys are fully aware of what is at stake and the need to continue their winning run.” Kida said.