By Oluwole Francis
President of Nigeria Basketball Federation NBBF, Mr. Musa Kida has called for early preparation as the D’ Tigress are drawn in a tough group which includes former world number one USA and seven seeded Serbia and Mozambique in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers.
This draw was conducted at a brief ceremony held in Switzerland today (Wednesday) to officially kick start the Olympics Tournament qualification race.
Reacting to the draw, the Nigeria Basketball Federation President, Musa Kida said qualification for the 2020 Olympics is possible despite admitting that it was a difficult draw.
“Being drawn against world number one (USA) and seven (Serbia) surely will not make the job easy but I am optimistic that qualification for the Olympics is possible,” Kida said.
“We know that tournament of this magnitude costs money, time and proper planning. We are going to be working with the Ministry of Sports and the Honorable Minister, Hon Sunday Dare to ensure that we return to the Olympic Games.”
D’ Tigress will have to navigate past World Number One, United States of America, Serbia and Mozambique in the battle to secure qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“The men have already qualified and all eyes are on our women to also join their counterpart in Tokyo. D’Tigress are the reigning African Champions and we hope this will count for something when they start the qualifiers,” he said.
The last time Nigeria met USA was at the quarter finals of the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain where the D’Tigress lost 41-70 points against the team that later went on to win the trophy.
D’Tigress last qualified for the Olympics in 2004.
A total of 10 teams will join USA (World Champions) and hosts Japan from the OQT to be played between 6th and 9th of February, 2020 across four countries- China, Serbia, France and Belgium