Washington Wizards’ Daniel Ochefu alongside captain Ike Diogu have been included in Nigeria’s Final roster to defend their title at the upcoming FIBA AfroBasket 2017 co-hosted in Senegal and Tunisia from September 8-16.
D’Tigers, who were drawn in Group A along with Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, are eyeing a second straight title even though they do not have the core players that shocked the continent to win the title two years ago.
Nigeria 12-man final roster for FIBA AfroBasket 2017
Yahaya Abdul, Okaro Akamune, Deji Akindele, Akin Akingbala, Kelechi Anuna, Dike Azuoma Ike Diogu, Ike Iroegbu, Bryant Mbamanu, Ike Nwamu, Daniel Ochefu, Anthony Odunsi.
Head coach Alex Nwora has given a chance to the locally based quartet of Azuoma Dike, Abdul Yahaya, Okaro Akamune and Kelechi Anuna as Nigeria take on the tough task that comes with going into a tournament as the hot favourite to win.
“We shall take every team as they come and restrict ourselves to the games for maximum concentration.
“We are not underrating any team but as the champions, we know everyone would come out smoking to dislodge us. We’re in Tunisia to do our job and that is to defend the title,” Diogu said.
Deji Akindele, Byrant Mbamalu, Ike Nwamu, Akin Akingbala, Ike Iroegbu and Anthony Odunsi make up the foreign setup of Nwora’s side.
Nwora explained to FIBA.basketball that, “We may not have the same crop of players that everyone knew but we are in Tunisia to give our best.
“Some of the players that were at the FIBA AfroBasket in 2015 have new contracts and some are injured but this competition must go on.”
“As a professional coach, I am here to do my job of ensuring that Nigeria gives a good account of herself in this championship.”
His captain Diogu echoed his thoughts and said, “Nigeria may not have the bulk of players that won the trophy in 2015 but I can assure you that the present squad is out to give a good account of themselves.”
Nwora will work with Adewunmi Aderemi and Abulrahman Mohammed as assistant coaches as they look to keep D’Tigers at the top of Africa.
Nigeria, who will be playing in familiar territory in Tunis, will open their account against Cote d’Ivoire on Friday in the ultimate West African derby before taking on Mali the next day and DR Congo on Sunday.
Culled from Hynaija