After scoring hard fought victories against South Sudan and Rwanda at the recently concluded 2021 Afrobasket qualifiers, D’Tigers shooting guard, Keith Omoerah envisages more difficult encounters for Nigeria on the continent due to the improved quality of African teams.
Many expected and predicted a stroll in the park but were shocked when D’Tigers had to dig deep before pulling off a 75-70 points win against South Sudan in their first game and another 64-51points victory against Rwanda.
Omoerah who is currently with Mykolaiv in Ukraine believes Nigeria’s opponents at the qualifiers deserve recognition for putting up a good fight to make them sweat for the wins.
“We didn’t have big wins this time around against South Sudan and Rwanda unlike when we met the first time and that’s credit to them. Every time we play a team we are going to get their best effort, especially in Africa and that was apparent in those games. We have to be ready for that and we will be,” he told the Nigeria Basketball Federation media channel.
Omoerah who led the team with 13 points against Rwanda attributed his rich form during the qualifiers to the trust and confidence of the Nigeria basketball Federation, coach staff and the players.
“I first need to thank the organization (NBBF), coaches and players for the honour and privilege to play for the wonderful country of Nigeria again. I was just playing my role and doing what I could to help the team win. Everyone on the team trusts each other and we all believe in each other. So that made it easy for us to play with confidence.”
With the qualification series over, Omoerah who became a part of the national team during the 2019 World Cup qualifiers said the players will continue to work hard to stay in shape ahead of a busy schedule in the summer when the team will be participating at the Olympics and Afrobasket Championship.
“We will continue to work as hard as we can and try to play at the top of our games. We have to make sure to finish the season healthy and then we will prepare for a big summer ahead for Nigerian Basketball.”
Nigeria confirmed its supremacy on the continent by becoming the first country to qualify for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket to be held in Rwanda later this year.