Rivers Hoopers forward Buchi Nwaiwu and Ibe Abuchi Agu of Gombe Bulls will be replacements for D’Tigers duo, Ike Nwamu and Christopher Obekpa at the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in Abidjan next week.
ACLSports.com revealed on Saturday February 9 https://www.aclsports.com/basketball-nwaiwu-and-agu-get-dtigers-invite/ that Nwaiwu and Agu had been invited to join the previous 15 players invited for the qualifiers with reasons of their addition now disclosed to the media by the Team’s manager, Musa Adamu.
“Nwamu and Obekpa will be absent due to club commitments and administrative reasons.
“Nwamu has just been traded from his club to Indiana Pacers, so he cannot afford to leave immediately,” said Adamu.
The team manager of the high flying D’Tigers who are on a 9-game unbeaten streak said the inclusion of Nwaiwu and Agu was based on their outstanding performances in 2018.
“Buchi Nwaiwu was the Most Valuable Player at the FIBA Africa Zone 3 club Championship in Cotonou where he helped his club (Rivers Hoopers of Port Harcourt) qualify for the maiden edition of the FIBA Africa Basketball League. He played very well and he was the most valuable player and the highest scorer.”
“Agu too was the MVP of the invitational championship played in Kano last year and also put up a good show at the National Sports Festival. Their performances never went unnoticed”, Adamu said.
D’Tigers camp officially opens on Tuesday, 19th of February in Abidjan for the last window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
Having qualified for the World Cup holding later this year in China, Nigeria will hope to finish the qualifiers with their unbeaten record intact when they face host- Côte d’Ivoire on February 22.
The team will battle Central Africa Republic on the 23rd while it will be the clash of two basketball powerhouses in Africa when Nigeria meets Senegal on the 24th.
Nigeria who became the first country in the world to book its ticket to China defeated Senegal on Sunday, September 16, 2018 by 81-61 (27-12, 22-17, 17-18, 23-12) with Ike Diogu scoring 17 points and 9 rebounds.