–Urges federation, sports ministry on adequate preparation
Former Nigeria U-18 men’s National team Assitant Coach Peter Ahmedu takes a hard look at the country’s preparation toward the FIBA- Africa Championship in Tunisia and the All African Games in Congo and concludes that it’s been a good start for the Sani Ahmed handled team.
Nigeria sealed qualification to the 2015 FIBA Africa Basketball Championship in Tunisia and the All African Games in Congo after a 63-50 victory over Burkina Faso in the second leg of the qualifiers at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National stadium in Surulere, Lagos, on Wednesday having won the first leg by 64-87 points away in Ouagadougou.
Ahmedu, who is the current gaffer of Mark Mentors Basketball Club of Abuja wants the NBBF to resound the tune for the African Championship more enough by embarking on more training tours and friendly games.
“First, I am very happy for the qualification, and I think the preparation this year has been very good. The domestic players involved in the prosecution of games so far have also quite been impressive. From the results of games played particularly the invitational tourney have shown clearly that those boys can truly hold their own and are no pushovers when put side by side with the foreign pros.”
It would be recalled that Mark Mentor Basketball Club players dominated list of local players invited by the D’Tigers handlers.
“Without sentiment, Sani Ahmed and Ayinla Johnson are both doing a great job giving the home based players chance to prove their mettle in the quest to secure the country’s tickets for both the FIBA- Africa Championship and the All African Games.”
“With this gesture, I could see the coaches trying to build a program and to achieve this and I think the federation needs to assist them a lot. At least, now that we have qualified for the two tournaments, we need strong friendly games and invitational tournaments to give the players more depth and experience. With all these provided, then it’s left to the coach to find the right mix and click going into the championships.”
Nigeria is now joined with 13 other qualified countries -Angola, Egypt, Cote d’ Ivoire, Cameroon, Mali, Morocco, Uganda, Cape Verde, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Gabon, Congo and host Tunisia-for the FIBA- Africa Championship holding in Tunisia from August 20th to 30th, 2015 vis-a-vis the 11th All African Games scheduled for September 4-19th in Congo Brazzaville.
By: Kayode Ogunbanwo.