As the count down to the 2018 Commonwealth Games continues, Coach Abdulrahman Mohammed is optimistic about D’Tigers’ chances of having a good tournament despite describing their group consisting of host-Australia, Canada and New Zealand as the ‘Group of Death’.
Abdulrahman who is an assistant coach in the current national team’s technical setup headed by Alex Nwora said the home based players in camp are already giving a good account of themselves in training and should be ready to face their opponents at the games.
Speaking on Thursday, he said having faced these teams in previous editions of the Commonwealth games, they are pretty aware of what to expect and the threat each country will pose to the D’Tigers.
“Even a layman knows that we are in the group of death. We have played those teams in the past at that same level of competition.”
The head coach of Gombe Bulls basketball club explained that since the competition is not on the FIBA calendar, most players in the NBA and leagues across Europe will not be released for the competition.
He believes that this factor will once again give Nigeria who will be parading a team dominated by players from the local scene, the needed edge when they meet all these depleted oppositions.
“Most times especially at this period, they don’t always have their best players available for that kind of tournament and we are counting on this same factor this time around.
“We feel that what we have right now are good enough to go and face the category of players they are going parade at this level of the competition because of the timing in terms of NBA and Europe based players who are busy with their clubs.”
He expressed confidence that players will be in top shape judging by the situation in camp after 3 weeks of camping for the games currently going on at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.
“The boys have been picking up well and improving. So far, it’s been great. The camping condition has been great as the camp is going on well.”
The XXI Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia between 4 and 15 April 2018.