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Paris 2024 Olympic Games: Basketball fans back D’Tigress to survive ‘group of death’

Posted : 22 March 2024

Basketball fans in Lagos have expressed hope that Nigeria’s Senior National Women’s team, D’Tigress, will survive their Group of Death at the forthcoming Olympics in France.

The fans, in separate interviews, agreed that D’Tigress would need to work very hard to excel in their Group B, which includes Canada, Australia, and the host country, France.

For Michael Ezechie, a basketball fan, the right combination of players by Coach Rena Wakama would play a key role in Nigeria’s qualification from their group.

He also said that the quality of players the head coach would assemble would be very helpful to the team’s overall performance.

“The Group B encounter with teams like Australia, Canada, and France is definitely a tough one because the three teams are in the top 10 in the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA’s) rankings.

“For D’Tigress to qualify from the group, their level of hard work and preparations must be well-defined to make any impact.

“They must invite top-quality international players who know what they can achieve and begin early preparations for the team to gel properly,” Ezechie said.

Also, Anthony Adekoya, another basketball fan, said the D’Tigress have proven their quality over time and are no strangers to major competition.

“It’s a tough group, but I have good confidence in the team’s capacity and capabilities to achieve a good outing at the coming Olympics Games in France.

“D’Tigress are no strangers to major competition. As they carry the African hope, they must rise to the occasion and do the nation proud,” Adekoya said.

Similarly, Chinedu Okoro, a fan of D’Tigress, said that the team would surprise many at the Olympics.

He said the team has the capacity to win one or two matches with its top-notch players plying their trade at the international and major leagues in Europe and in the U.S.

“It’s a matter of training well for the competition. It is not an impossible feat for them to beat highly-rated teams in the world of basketball.

“With good determination and good teamwork, D’Tigress should be able to pull some strings at the coming Olympics,” Okoro said.

Currently ranked 12th in the world, Nigeria is the sole flag bearer from Africa in the women’s basketball tournament, while South Sudan is holding it down for the men at the Olympic Games.

Under the stewardship of coach Wakama, D’Tigress, without a good camping program, managed to secure a place at the Games.

D’Tigress defeated Senegal and lost to the USA and Belgium during the play-off in Antwerp, Belgium in February.

D’Tigress finished 11th in their outings at the last two Olympic Games.

Nigeria will begin their quest for Olympic glory against Australia on July 29 before meeting France on Aug. 1.

Their final match in the group stage will be against Canada.

Serbia, Spain, China, and Paraguay are in Group A, while World Champions USA, Germany, Belgium, and Japan are the teams in Group C.

The draws have intensified the anticipation of this year’s Olympic Games Basketball Tournaments, which will be held from July 27 to Aug. 11 in France.


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