By Bamidele Boluwaji:
Nigeria’s senior national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, will on Friday begin their title chase in the 2017 edition of the Afrobasket for Women which commences in Bamako, Mali same day, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Nigerian team led by American coach Sam Vincent left the country for the tournament on Wednesday with full confidence that having camped in both America and Nigeria prior to the tournament, they can go all the way to claim the title and also feature in the World Cup.
Having won the Championship in 2003 and 2005 respectively, Sam Vincent believes strongly that the current team captained by Aisha Mohammed will not disappoint and one thing Vincent has not taken away from his plans of winning the title is starting with victory against Mozambique in their opening game.
Speaking ahead of the opening game, Vincent said: “We have done a lot to prepare for the tournament and the players are in good spirit. Our first game is against Mozambique who are not new to us and for us to do well, we must win the first game to build on.
“Lots have changed in African basketball but I am not new to it because I follow the game religiously and we have players who have played in Africa competitions for some years, so we just have to win to start well.”
D’Tigress, who finished the 2015 edition with the bronze medal, are making their 10th appearance at the Afrobasket for Women Championship and will be hoping to replicate their 2003 and 2005 achievements.
The Nigerians will compete in Group B along with 2015 champions Senegal, Egypt, Guinea, DR Congo and Mozambique.
The tournament will serve as qualification for 2018 World Cup billed to hold in spain.
There are only two slots for Africa at the World Cup.