By Johnny Edward: D’Tigers star Jeleel Akindele is convinced the Nigerian team will qualify for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The 2019 FIBA World Cup will hold in China from the 31st August to the 15th of September, 2019.
D’Tigers’ last appearance in FIBA World Cup was back in 2006 and Akindele, who features for Turkish side Yalova Bid, says the wait must end this year.
“I think it’s a burden. And it’s time we get back to where we belong as the number one team in Africa,” Akindele told FIBA.com.
Nigeria’s D’Tigers will face hosts Mali, Rwanda and Uganda in Group B at the African qualifiers in Mali from 19 February to 27 of February.
“I expect nothing from D’Tigers but absolute fight,” Akindele added.
“Like every other burden and goal in life, it’s very important to achieve it, and we have set our eyes on that. I am confident in the team getting there.”
“Win or lose, you can rest assured the D’Tigers will go out and represent the country with pride. We always expect excellence from ourselves we will qualify.”
“It has driven us to the number one spot in African basketball and we plan on staying there for a while.”
Nigeria open their campaign against Uganda on February 23 before facing Rwanda a day later and finishing the window with a battle against Mali on February 25.
“People all around Africa know what we are about and they should bring their best game because we are bringing ours.”
“There is one goal that every team will have and that is to qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. And we are willing to fight like hell to achieve that.”