By Johnny Edward:
Nigeria D’Tigers star Ike Diogu claims Senegal, Tunisia and Angola will provide a stern test for the reigning champions at the 2017 FIBA AfroBasket Championship in Congo in August, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Diogu missed Nigeria’s first-ever triumph at the FIBA AfroBasket Championship in Tunisia two years ago due to a leg injury but is eager to feature this year.
The 33-year-old forward who features for Jiangsu Monkey King in the Chinese Basketball League told FIBA.com: “This FIBA AfroBasket will be very tough. Those teams will be extremely tough to beat. I am looking forward to having a healthy successful FIBA AfroBasket because last time I was injured.
“So for me, this is a huge summer to show everyone in Africa I’m back healthy and ready to help us win a championship God willing. But Senegal, Tunisia, Angola are so talented it will be a dogfight to win it all. But I’m excited about the challenge.
“I can only speak for myself and I’m looking forward to defending the crown in Congo.
“We choose the best players to represent Nigeria regardless of where they are based. Nigerians are all over, so we want the best collection of talent regardless of where you live.
“I welcome all local players that can play, I know a lot of them and have played with them. So I try and leave that up to the coaches as far as who they pick because the talent pool is rich so someone will always be left out.”
The FIBA AfroBasket 2017 is scheduled to take place from August 19-30 in Congo.
Teams qualified for the tournament are African champions Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Morocco, Tunisia, Mali, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Egypt, Uganda, Angola, Mozambique and South Africa while the two final tickets will be awarded through a wild card process.