Following their 114 to 69 victory over Central Africa Republic in the on-going FIBA 2019 Africa World Cup qualifier taking place in Lagos, Nigeria men’s basketball team became the first official team to book their ticket for the China 2019 World Cup. It is the second time that Nigeria will become the first country to qualify for a global event following the Super Eagles’ feat en route the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The D’Tigers’ feat was expected as the team had been dominant in the continental qualifying series since they failed to pick the automatic ticket from the 2017 Afrobasket Championship.
Nigeria earned the ticket from the culminating points from its eight matches unbeaten run in the qualifiers.Addressing journalists yesterday following the confirmation of Nigeria’s qualification, Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) President, Musa Kida expressed his delight at the team’s success in the series, noting that the board would now focus on preparing the team for the World Cup.
Kida added that all hands were on deck to also develop domestic players that would eventually contend with their foreign counterparts for national team slots.“It delights me the more that Nigeria is the first that have officially got the World Cup ticket before playing in the last quarter to hold next year February. Now, the NBBF has to begin preparations for the World Cup by arranging quality friendlies for the team.
“Despite the fact that D’Tigers have already booked the World Cup ticket, the coaches will use the best players to prosecute the last window qualifiers as this would also help in the build up to the World Cup. “I want to also reveal that the NBBF has given the D’Tigress necessary help to excel in the Women World Cup slated for Spain this month,” he said.