D’Tigers forward, Christopher Obekpa, has his sights on helping the Nigeria Basketball team qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China next year after the they won their three opening games in the first round of the African Qualifiers in Bamako, Mali last month.
The Trabzonspor of Turkey player who got the chance to make his debut for the former African champions at last month’s FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers, believes that Nigeria is good enough to earn a ticket to the FIBA’s flagship tournament in China.
“It’s not every day that one gets a call up to the Nigeria team that has talented players all over the world,” Obekpa told FIBA.basketball.
“I’m happy to have found a group of wonderful players who, despite our short time together in camp, flow together as if we have been playing together for a long time.
“Now that I have the opportunity to play for the team, I want to make the best of it.”
Obekpa also insists that the team’s unity with the older players was the big link as they gave them advice and confidence.
He said: “The senior players in the team are really a force to reckon with. I have not played in the senior team before now but the welcome that myself and other players making their first appearance got was encouraging.
“Now that I have the opportunity to play for the team, I want to make the best of it and make up for the times I have not been on the team.”
On the chances of the D’Tigers in the second round of the qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, the 24 year old says the team will not take Uganda, Mali and Rwanda for granted.
“I’ve had a wonderful time with the team and all that’s left for me to do is show my appreciation by making myself available as well as being an asset to the team. The June-July window promises to be exciting because we’re not ready to lift our feet off of the pedal,” Obekpa warned.
“However, that is not to say that Nigeria would take Uganda, Mali and Rwanda for granted. We need to keep our focus and get the job done because the next round promises to be action packed.
“Nigeria’s talent base is such that it can assure the country of a place in the FIBA Basketball World 2019 Cup. Staying disciplined and focused will be key for us,” Obekpa concluded.