Just after the female team, D’Tigress, won the 2017 Afrobasket, the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has released the squad for the D’Tigers’ defence of their FIBA Men’s title in Tunisia.
Chimezie Asiegbu, the NBBF Secretary-General, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the 12-man team is in high spirits.
The team which is expected to defend the nation’s glory at the 2017 Men’s AfroBasket, is made up of eight foreign-based and four home-based players.
“They have been in camp and are expected to work together in the interest of the nation,’’ he said.
The players are Dike Azouma, Akinlolu Akingbala, Etim Akakume, Olivier Anuna, Ayodeji Akindele and Diogu Ike.
Others are Ikenna Ireogbu, Bryant Mbamalu, Ikechukwu Nwamu, Ochefu Daniel, Abayomi Odunsi and Yahaya Abdul.
Asiegbu added that Usman Musa and Anthony Koko would go with the team to Tunisia as project players who would watch the team throughout the campaign.
“This will help in preparing the two players for subsequent engagements,’’ he said.
Team will depart for Tunisia on Wednesday ahead of the competition’s opening match on Friday.
D’Tigress, on Sunday restored the nation’s lost glory having defeated defending champions, Senegal to clinch the title for the third time after 12 years.
The competition’s final played in Bamako, Mali, the D’Tigress walloped their Senegalese counterparts 65-48 points to beat them a second time in the championship.
The team recorded no loss in all their games to the final in the 2017 edition after they had won it last in 2005; they first won it in in 2003.
With the victory, the team has qualified for the 2018 Women FIBA Championship in Spain.
They had earlier in the semi-final defeated hosts, Mali 48-47 to set up the final against Senegal which they had earlier beaten 58-54 points on Thursday in the group stage of the tournament.
In the first quarter of the match, Senegal enjoyed the privilege of 18-12 points’ victory but Nigeria powered past with 21-10 points in the second quarter.
Senegal then struggled to reverse their loss in the third quarter only to suffer additional loss of 7-15 points to D’Tigress.