Alex Nwora, the Head Coach of D’Tigers, on Thursday in lagos said his team was confident of going beyond the quarter-final stage of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
“We have quality players who are performing at the top level in Europe and the U.S, and we have played some friendly matches against some top sides. Indeed we are very confident of making it to the podium.
“We played against two teams also heading to the World Cup, Canada and the Dominican Republic, and having won three games out four times we met all is indeed good for our team spirit,’’ he said.
Nwora however promised that his team would have to continue working hard because the task ahead was very huge.
“However, we just have to continue to work hard as the World Cup is no playground and there are no easy teams. We just have to fight hard to get past the group stage and beyond,’’ he said.
The coach however expressed his team’s gratitude to the Nigeria Basketball federation (NBBF).
“We say a big `thank you’ to the federations, as it has done well to ensure we continue to get the best preparationss since as far back as July when we started out in New York,” Nwora said.
Speaking also, team captain Ike Diogu said his team was ready to do the nation proud.
“So far so good, the training process has been really good.
“There is a lot of cohesion in the team. The games we played against the Dominican Republic and Canada have proved how competitive we are and our level of readiness.
“Also, we have a high number of Europe-based players and other quality players from the NBA in the U.S. Indeed, we are ready for the World Cup.
“When we play, we play as a team for the country and for Africa as a whole. We look forward to the competition with keen interest, and we fear nobody,” Diogu said.
They have been drawn in Group B alongside Russia, Argentina and South Korea at the competition which gets underway on Aug. 31 and ends on Sept.15.
(Edited by Debo Oshundun and Olawale Alabi)