D’Tigers point guard, Ben Uzoh described the team as a united unit focused on bringing glory to Nigeria. “We are brothers. Behind the scene we are always in group chats. We keep in touch, we joke, we bounce a lot of ideas off each other behind the scene.”
With less than 24 hours to the start of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers on Friday in Lagos, the camp of the D’Tigers is buzzing with positive energy and optimism ahead of their opening game.
The team billed to face Cote d’Ivoire in the first game of their second round qualifier billed for the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos is determined to get the job done and keep to their unbeaten run as they continue their journey of picking a World Cup ticket.
Although he is not giving anything to chance regarding their opposition, Uzoh said D’Tigers will continue to work hard in ensuring they maintain their unbeaten run.
“Obviously, those teams have been working hard and preparing to put their best foot forward just as much as we are, but I am just excited to be amongst such great talents again. It’s going to be fun because we look forward to the competition.”
In the same vein, D’Tigers returnee, Stanley Okoye said he is back on a mission to prove his worth and importance to the team.
Speaking after their team’s final training session on Thursday, Stanley said his mission is to prove a point and show how important he is to the team.
“For me, it’s important personally to show how much I deserve it, how much I can help this team and how important I can be as a player.
“It feels good, it’s a great honour to be back. It’s been a few years since I played for this team. It feels good to see a lot of new faces.”
As a team, he said they have a lot to prove to their fans at home and show the African continent that Nigeria’s time is now.
“We have a lot to prove. I think we are a team that everybody wants to beat. In the last couple of years, we have dominated Africa and it’s time for us to show that not only can we compete in Africa but also be one of the best teams in the world.”
According to him, having gone 6 games unbeaten and leading the group with 12 points, every team will be out to defeat them.
“Ivory Coast is a great team, Central Africa Republic is a great team, Senegal is a great team but right now we are going to focus on Coted I’voire because that is the first game. But I think as long as we do our thing, work on our game plan, play our defence, play to our strength, I think we will be very successful in this tournament.”