B/Ball: D’Tigers Arrive Angola For 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Nigeria’s men’s basketball national team, D’Tigers, have arrived Angola ahead of their 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifying campaign which tips off on Friday, 26 November.

D’Tigers have been drawn in Group A alongside Cape Verde, Mali and Uganda but will only play two games at the competition after Uganda pulled out of the qualifiers over financial constraints.

Nigeria open their campaign against Cape Verde at the Benguela, Pavilhão Multiusos Acácias Rubras at 11:00am Nigerian time on Friday (today).

With the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) currently mired in a standoff with the sports ministry, it is understood veteran captain Ike Diogu assembled the 12-man roster for the tournament.

Also included in the Angola party are experienced duo Ben Uzoh and Deji Akindele with Amanze Egekeze, Ben Emelogu, Christopher Obekpa and TK Edogi also making the cut.

Others include Jordan Ogundiran, Keith Omoerah, Onyenso Ugonna Kingsley, Bright Akhuetie and Michel Oriakhi.

The team will be overseen by former NBA star and ex-international Julius Nwosu in the absence of substantive head coach Mike Brown currently occupied with his primary job as associate coach of the Golden State Warriors.

Nwosu represented Nigeria at two FIBA Basketball World Cups in 1998 and 2006 and was in the team that won bronze at the 2015 AfroBasket.

The 50-year-old will be tasked with ensuring a better outing for D’Tigers in their first tournament since finishing 12th at the 2021 Afrobasket in Rwanda, their worst performance in the competition.