Head Coach of the men’s senior national team, Alex Nwora has released his final 12-man roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers taking centre stage this weekend in Lagos.
The 12-man list announced at the team’s last training session on Thursday will be headlined by Sinchuan Blue Whales player and captain, Ike Diogu.
Others are Omoerah Keith Sado (Baerum Basket, Norway), Braxton Ogbueze Jai (Charlotte University, USA), Nwora Jordan (University of Louisville, USA) Agada Caleb Apochi (Prat, Spain) and Okosun Augustine Obehioye (Sameji Dominican Republic). Mehinti Tosin Idowu (Lavrio, Greece) and Deji Akindele were also selected and are all in line to make their first competitive debut for Nigeria.
Uzoh Benjamin (CB Caballero De Culican, Mexico), Mbamalu Bryant (CD Vildivia, Chile), Zanna Talib (Ironi Nes-Zion’s, Italy) and Emenago Obinna Clinton (Rouen Basket, France) complete the list.
Nwora said the team is ready as they look forward to a great game against Uganda on Friday.
“It’s going to be a good test for us tomorrow but hopefully we will be victorious tomorrow.
“We played them before. The last time we played them, they gave us a lot of problem. Now, they have newer players who did not play in the second window,” Nwora concluded.
In the same vein, captain of D’Tigers, Ike Diogu is looking forward to an awesome time in front of the Lagos crowd when the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers dunksoff this weekend.
“This is our last practice before the big show starts where we will play in front of our fans and we are looking forward to having a good tournament.”
The Sinchuan Blue Whales of China player rules out the fear of buckling under the pressure of playing in front of Lagos fans.
“No pressure at all, we are just going out there to play the right way and hopefully, we can come out with 3 victories and the goal is to get one of these world cup tickets.”
Diogu explained that the whole team is motivated by the possibility of making their debut at the world cup and will stop at nothing to actualise their dreams.
“I have never been to the world championship and it’s an exciting challenge which we have all accepted.”
He is excited that he has finally overcome his injury woes that ruled him out of the 2015 Afrobasket championship as he is ready to provide the quality leadership needed by the team.
“I was happy to play last year at the African Championship and be injury free. In 2015 even though we won, I was injured. So, to be able to take the young ones as far as we did is a blessing. We are looking forward to qualifying in front of our home crowd.”