As the 2019 FIBA Men’s World Cup gets underway in China this Saturday, the Nigeria national Male Basketball team, D’Tigers hope to start against Russia on a winning note.
The team fully focused on the task ahead said starting with victory on Saturday against the Russians is very important as they plan to go as far as possible in the tournament.
Head coach, Alex Nwora admitted that Russia ranked 10th in the latest FIBA ranking will be a very difficult nut to crack but said a victory is not impossible.
Nwora, who on Tuesday released the final 12 man roster for the World Cup said with the talent at his disposal after weeks of preparation, the team can only reach for the sky.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge for us, but we have the ability and the talent to match up their skill set. It’s going to be a good one. What we are trying to do is to make sure that we prepare and get ready for the competition.”
Team captain, Ike Diogu said Russia will be a good test for the team and will afford them the opportunity of assessing where they really belong.
“I have been telling everybody, one through fifteen, we can match up with anybody in the world. We just have to execute, play hard and I think the odds will be in our favour”.
The Team’s General Manager and former Nigerian international, Musa Adamu revealed that the team’s goal is to take a game one at a time and qualify for the second round.
“We hope to qualify from our group and from there we go bit by bit. First we hope to win the games we are going to play one after the other.
“So, our first mission is to win our first game and then get out of our group”, Adamu said.
Nigeria is grouped alongside Russia, Argentina and Korea.