W’Cup qualifiers: D’Tigers eye victory against C’Verde

D’Tigers vs Australa

D’Tigers will be hoping to open their 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifying campaign with a win when they tackle rising African basketball powerhouse Cape Verde at the Benguela, Pavilhão Multiusos Acácias Rubras in Angola on Friday (today).

Nigeria are in Group A and were billed to face Cape Verde Mali and Uganda but will only play two games at the competition after Uganda pulled out of the qualifiers due to lack of funds.

D’Tigers have been boosted with the return of experienced captains, Ike Diogu and Ben Uzoh, for the encounter while former D’Tigers NBA player Julius Nwosu will serve as head coach of the team with the absence of Mike Brown who is unavailable due to commitments with NBA side, Golden State Warriors.

Nwosu represented Nigeria at two FIBA Basketball World Cups in 1998 and 2006 and helped the country to the Third-Place of AfroBasket in 2005.

This will be Nigeria’s first basketball appearance since finishing 12th at the 2021 Afrobasket in Rwanda, their worst performance in the competition.

The tie has been tipped to be a tricky one for Nigeria after Cape Verde’s impressive performance at the 2021 Afrobasket.

The Island nation finished fourth at the last Afrobasket championships losing to Senegal in the third-place match.

Nigeria featured at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China will be hoping to start their qualifiers on a positive note.

The team have been ranked No. 1 in the Power Rankings of the eight teams featuring in the qualifiers.

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