D’Tigers guard Eli Abraham has shared his experience at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia with ACLSports.
Abraham was among the six home based players that made the final roster to Gold Coast. Nigeria were grouped alongside New Zealand, Canada and host Australia in Group B.
“It was an exciting experience, my first time going to the Commonwealth Games. We had few practice sessions before the games started and I was excited to see the good facilities there not like what we have in Nigeria.”
Though Nigeria failed to win a game in Group B of the basketball event, Abraham took positives from the competition.
“Every player will be disappointed not to win a game but you win some and lose some.Its my first appearance in a big international competition. I was disappointed not to have won a game and I felt hurt. I took positives which is knowledge and experience gained from this outing.”
“We did our best to represent our country unfortunately, we couldn’t win a game. Everyone had something to contribute not like we didn’t do enough.”
The Kano Pillars guard pointed out challenges that affected the team in Australia.
“We had jet lag and were very tired because we flew into Australia very late. Apart from suffering fatigue, adapting to the weather was another challenge. Some people didn’t acclimatize on time nonetheless we put in our best. The weather in Australia is not too hot and not too cold, someone like me didn’t have issues adapting because it’s similar to what we have in Jos where I reside. Someone in Kano, Lagos or in a more humid or hotter environment might struggle to adapt. I didnt acclimatize fully too because I realised when I run a bit I get tired.
Abraham admitted head coach of the senior men’s national team, Alex Nwora who was ill and couldn’t make it down to Australia was missed.
“There is strength in unity, strength in numbers sad we just had two coaches. I am sure they would have loved to have him there. The assistant coaches did their best at least it’s the same coaching crew that worked with coach Alex Nwora in Tunisia and Mali. Players also missed having him around and we wish him quick recovery.”
As part of his targets for the year, Abraham said he hopes to get invite for the World Cup Qualifiers in June and September and also win the Kwese Premier Basketball league as well as a podium finish at the FIBA Africa Champions Cup.