Head Coach of the Nigerian national women Basketball team, Sam Vincent, has said he is optimistic that D’Tigress will effectively challenge all group opponents and proceed to win a medal at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup holding in Tenerife, Spain, between September 22 and 30.
Vincent gave the assurance at the conclusion of the draws ceremony held this Tuesday at the Teatro Leal, San Cristobal de la Laguna, Spain, in which Nigeria has been drawn in Group B alongside Turkey, Argentina and Australia for the world’s biggest women basketball tournament.
Noting that the draws has officially flagged-off their preparation for the World Cup, Vincent said the team has its eyes on securing a medal.
“I am excited and confident about our position in the pool drawing for Spain. It moves us one step closer to our goal of securing a medal in the 2018 FIBA World cup”.
Also to the draws, Dallas Wings player and one of the most influential Nigerians in the WNBA, Evelyn Akhator, expressed optimism that the team will give a good fight against all opponents to finish with cheers.
“I think it will be a great outing for us being drawn alongside Australia, Turkey and Argentina. I have watched the Turkish national team play and I am confident that we will surmount them. On the other hand Australia and Argentina, we will give a good fight with all hopes of winning.”
A confident Akhator who powered the D’Tigress to their Afrobasket win in Mali believes the target is achievable if the team can have a good preparation coupled with relentless effort and determination on the part of both players, managers and administrative officials.
“A build up on our previous success at the Afrobasket would surely bear fruitful result,” she said.
The Vice President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Babs Ogunade expressed optimism about the team’s ability to make it out of the group which he described as ‘interesting.’
“We are sure to make it to the next round, then one game at a time. We are the dark horses here and it is a good place to be so as to spring surprises. We have our hearts and heads in a good place.”
The group phase of the competition will be held in Tenerife Sports Pavilion Santiago Martin in San Cristóbal de La Laguna and the Palacio Municipal de Deportes “Quico Cabrera” in Santa Cruz while the final phase will be staged at the Tenerife Sports Pavilion, Santiago Martin.
D’Tigress will be hoping to surpass their 2006 outing where they lost all their group games against China, Russia and United States before suffering another defeat in the classification game against Senegal to finish 16th.