…as Kida tags draw fair, tricky
The country’s basketball team, the D’Tigers was on Saturday drawn alongside Argentina, Russia and South Korea in Group B of the 2019 FIBA World Cup for men scheduled to take place in China from August 31 to September 15.
Nigeria currently 33rd on the FIBA ranking will once again be facing familiar foes and world number 6, Argentina for the third time since their last two previous meetings at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
It will be the first ever meeting against world number 10, Russia who is making a return to the world stage after missing out in 2014.
World number 32, South Korea will hope to put the ghost of their 2014 World Cup behind them where they finished 23rd out of the 24 participating nations when both sides meet in the sprawling city of Wuhan.
Speaking immediately after the draws, Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) President, Musa Kida, described the group as “fair” but “tricky” pointing out that early preparation holds the key to a successful World Cup campaign.
“Now that we have known the teams that we will face, we need to start preparations in earnest if we are to make an impact in China,” he said.
“We are going to the World Cup as the number one team in Africa and the first country to qualify for the World Cup globally on the back of a nine-game unbeaten streak, so we have definitely drawn some attention.”
The NBBF has already commenced preparations in earnest with the D’Tigers’ head coach, Alex Nwora, in talks with some key players ahead of the world cup.
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