D’Tigers head coach Alex Nwora is delighted to have experienced members of the team for the 4th window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in Lagos this weekend.
Al-Farouq Aminu, Alade Aminu, Ben Uzoh and Stanley Okoye who are on the 12-man roster invited for this qualifers last played together at the 2015 Afrobasket in Tunisia were Nigeria won their first African title.
Nwora said his team understands the importance of this window which is to pick the World Cup tickets ahead of Senegal, Coted I’voire and Central African Republic who are closely behind Nigeria on the standings.
“You are working with pros they all know it’s a business trip coming down here for the business of playing. They know it’s a crucial time not to worry about any distraction because it’s a business trip.
“I think we are ready, we are going to be ready and come our first game on the 14th, we have to defend our home. It’s a crucial time for every team to bring their best players to make sure that everything is left unturned.”
“The main aim is to qualify for the World Cup and also when we get there to be one of the teams on the podium,” Nwora revealed to ACLSports
He thanked the federation for making it possible to have the best available players for this window.
“Our captain Ik Diogu has been instrumental in making sure that some of these guys come play for Nigeria likewise Musa Adamu with the help of the federation. The federation has done a lot and the effort they have put in has been tremendous. I am privileged and happy to be part of it. I give credit to all the players that have come through all the windows, for those that have answered the call to come play for Nigeria, I am very grateful what they have done so far. I think we have unfinished business.”
Nwora has just four days to prepare for the crucial qualifiers this weekend after most players could only arrive on Sunday due to club commitments.
The former Cape Verde coach is confident they will get the job done though less time to work on team chemistry.
“A coach will always want more time for preparation knowing that the other countries are getting ready to battle to be one of those countries to pick one of those tickets.The mystery part of it is that we are not going to be together for that long to worry about chemistry. We are just here for business, get the job done and then worry about that when we are ready to go to the World Cup.”
Nwora said they won’t undermine the quality of their opponents.
“Everybody is good and you never take everybody for granted. We know we are top of the group, we have bull’s eye on our chest so everyone is coming after us. Senegal is a very good team, well coached, Ivory Coast are also well coached and very good team, CAR are fighters and this will be a very tough challenge for us. We are equal to the task and we will fight. We know our talent, our skills and so I think playing in front of our home fans at the end of the competition we will be happy with the result our work will prove us right.”
He encouraged fans to turn out en masse to support the D’tigers when action tips off on Friday at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium Lagos.
“They should keep supporting us like they have done from day 1. They should keep cheering for us and be that 6th man for us in the gym. I am very excited to get this job done and to give us a chance to qualify for the World Cup.”