Former captain of the D’Tigers, Olumide Oyedeji has expressed his optimism about the chances of Nigeria defeating Cameroon in the quarter final game of the 2017 Afrobasket.
Despite losing to DR Congo in their last group game, Nigeria qualified as group winners ahead of DR Congo, Mali and Cote’d Ivore from Group A and will next play against runner up of Group C, Cameroon.
Oyedeji who was in the 2015 Afrobasket winning squad, believes the D’Tigers can put the loss behind them and go far in the competition.
“They have done well even after the bitter loss to DR Congo on Sunday. I’ll want them to forget about the loss. It will be better to lose in the final round than the knock out stage,” Oyedeji stated.
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“Remember in 2015, we lost against host Tunisia in the final round but we still went ahead to qualify to the elimination round and from there, we won the championship. I still believe we have a good chance all we need to do is get back together and look at all we need to do and I’m sure we are going to come out in brighter colours,”he opined.
The former NBA star pointed areas the team needs to work on ahead of the quarter final clash on Thursday.
“We need to move the ball more , rotate the ball more and not to settle for the jumper outside,curtail other guards and also to play more aggressive Defense.”
“Against Cameroon, they have the same style of play as ours. They are very physical, very aggressive, strong in and out like us. But we have players more experienced than theirs in the bigger leagues. What we didn’t do against Congo like sharing the ball when we have to, move our feet , not allow easy penetration and also make sure we curtail them. If we can get those lapses corrected, I am sure we will take the game against Cameroon,”he explained.
Basketball enthusiasts have picked Senegal and host Tunisia as favourites to win the 2017 Afrobasket. A notion supported by the former national team captain. He however preferred to show patriotism with a believe that the coaching staff and the crop players available in the national team would against all odds defend the title they won two years ago.
“Senegal and Tunisia are the favourites to win but I’ll back my team to go all out should we meet them (Tunisia) in the semi-finals . I’ll love to take it one game at a time though,”he concluded.
Nigeria will take on Cameroon on Thursday at 3:30pm.