By Bayo Olawunmi
Lagos, Oct. 29, 2020 (NAN) Nigeria will start her race for qualification for the Rwanda/Egypt Afrobasket 2021 against Algeria on Nov. 27 in Algiers the capital city.
The leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has said that qualification for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Men’s tournament was non-negotiable.
Nigeria’s D’Tigers, 2015 champions in their last appearance at the Afrobasket showpiece, were second in 2017 behind Tunisia which also jointly co-hosted the event with Senegal.
According to a statement by the NBBF Media Coordinator, Afolabi Oni in Lagos the NBBF would put all logistics in motion to see the D’Tigers qualify.
It said that with gradual return of international basketball following the disruption of the global calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBBF has set its sight on a successful outing.
It also said that the NBBF President, Musa Kida, said preparations had started in earnest to ensure that the Olympics-bound D’Tigers qualify for its 28th Afrobasket tournament.
“We are aware of the huge task before us to ensure another seamless qualification for Afrobasket.
“We know that millions of Nigerians are expecting us to qualify without drama and that is exactly what we are working towards.”
“Currently ranked 26th globally and 1st in Africa, Nigeria is grouped alongside host – Rwanda, Mali and Algeria in Group D.
Kida stressed the need for early training camp and preparations to adequately get the team ready.
“No more minnows in African basketball. All the teams in our group deserve to be there and they deserve our respect.
“We need to prepare early and adequately to live up to pre-tournament ratings by pundits.
“We cannot afford to let our fans down. They are already looking beyond the qualification series from Nov. 27 to Nov. 29, and Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, 2021,”Kida said.
D’Tigers, who will be seeking her second championship title when the competition dunks off will conclude its first round of qualification campaign against West African opposition, Mali on Nov. 29.
The top three teams in each group will qualify for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket tournament taking place in Kigali, Rwanda between Aug. 21 and Sept. 5, 2021. (