–To boost team ahead of AAG, African Championship
National men’s basketball team, D’Tigers coach Sani Ahmed has said in clear language that the team will still need the services of foreign based players to excel at the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo and the FIBA-Africa Championship in Tunisia later in the year.
Nigeria few days back defeated Burkina Faso at the indoor sports hall of the National Stadium in Lagos to qualify for the two competitions and the coach who is also in charge of Kano Pillars believes that bringing Nigerian players in foreign leagues to the team will help the nation to perform well in the competitions.
“Let me just use this opportunity to congratulate the players that helped us to qualify for the two competitions first because if they had not given their best, it would have been very difficult for us to get the ticket”, begins the coach
“Having said that, I must make it clear here that the two competitions we are going to take part in are more difficult than the qualifiers and we need to go there with our very best and in doing that, we need to bring in some of the players we have in the foreign leagues to make the team stronger.
“We also need to take preparations for these competitions serious so that we will not just go there and make up the numbers because our performance in the two competitions will determine if Nigerian basketball will develop or not.
It would be recalled that the basketball coach prosecuted the qualifiers with home based players except London Lions of England player, Olumide Oyedeji who is the only foreign based player in the team.
Meanwhile, the coach is expected to meet the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF with his programme soon, according to officials of the team.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF has been urged to ensure adequate preparation for the National men’s basketball team having qualified for the 2015 All Africa Games and the FIBA-Africa Championship.
Assistant coach of the team, Toyin Ayinla while speaking with Complete Sports after the team’s victory over Burkina Faso said the quality of preparation the team would have ahead of the competitions will determine how far Nigeria will perform in Congo and Tunisia respectively.
“The qualifiers are over now and we must thank God for making it possible for us but there is still a step to climb and that is the preparation for the competitions. The quality of the preparation we are going to have will determine how the team will perform. They are international competitions and we need to be very serious about it”, says the coach
Colonel Sam Ahmedu (retd) who also congratulated the team, believes that the coaches need to work really hard to ensure they perform well in the tournament.
“It was a good performance and I am sure that Nigerians will be happy with the development in Basketball but we need to do more by ensuring that we perform better than our previous performance in the two competitions and the only way we can achieve this is to prepare well”, says the retired Military Officer
While the All Africa Games holds in Congo, the FIBA Africa Championship is billed to hold in Tunisia later in the year.