Nigeria’s male senior basketball national team, D’Tigers’ coach, Alex Nwora has declared that last weekend’s victory over Uganda has set the stage for the commencement of preparations for the final round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
Nwora said after his side became the first team in Africa to qualify for the final round of the qualifiers with a 109-66 win against Uganda at Lagos National Stadium, Surulere, that he will quickly set his programme in motion.
Having recorded 3 wins in the second window of the qualifiers, all Nigeria needed was just a point to seal their place as one of the 3 teams in Group B to advance to the next round.
The FIBA World Cup, which is the flagship edition made up of 32 teams, will take place in China from 31st August to 15th September, 2019.
With qualification already secured, Nwora said focus will now shift to young debutants in the team in its quest to give them more playing time.
The first leg of the second round tournament will take place later this year, during the fourth window in September from 10th to 18th while the return leg is between 26th of November and 4th of December.
Nwora stressed that the fourth window which will likely throw up tougher opponents will be well prepared for.
Nwora said: “We have secured our win and we are so excited about this. We have a mixture of experienced and young but new players in this team.
“From our next game, we will start preparing for September. If we are going to face countries like Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique and Central Africa Republic who are also big names in African basketball, then we need to step up our game.
“We will give the younger players more time on the court to see what they can do. I am really excited about the endless possibilities of the team going by their potentials.”