D’Tigers became the first team in Africa to qualify for the second and final round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers after their emphatic 109 points to 66 win against Uganda.
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.
With qualification already secured, Head Coach, Alex Nwora said focus will now shift to young debutants in the team in its quest to give them more playing time.
“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. 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”.
The win against Uganda increased the team’s winning streak to 4 in all FIBA competitions.
Qualifiers from Group B will be drawn alongside those from Group D which includes Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique and Central Africa Republic for the 2 automatic tickets.
D’tigers have a lot to be excited about going forward. In the first game some might have been surprised by the margin of victory, but none by its facilitator with Ike Diogu leading the scoring charts with 24 points. Picking up 7 rebounds and 3 assists with a PER of +29.
Nwora said the preparation for the fourth window which will likely throw up tougher opponents has already started.
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“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.” The players stepped up and closed this leg of the qualifiers strong with Jordan Nwora, a 19 year old rising sophomore from Louisville who is also the son of head coach Nwora leading the charge against Mali with a PER of +39. He was sensational! with 36 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals.
The first leg of the second round tournament will take place during the fourth window between September 10th to 18th before the return leg between 26th of November and 4th of December.
The world cup which is the flagship edition made up of 32 teams will take place in China from 31st August to 15th September, 2019.
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