D’Tigress of Nigeria will today at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in Belgrade be taken their first step of returning to Olympic Games after their last outing at Athens 2004, as the African champion take on Mozambique in their first match of the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2020 holding in Belgrade.
The team which won the back-to-back Afrobasket title in 2017 and 2019 is among the four nations that have never set foot at the Olympic Games and being the only nation to have waited the longest since their last outing in Greece 16 years ago.
The American coach Otis Hughley-led teams is dominated by foreign-based players and the signs are good for the team, having featured and shown themselves well at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2018, with quality players like Evelyn Akhator and Ezinne Kalu who are in good form.
They will be facing a familiar foe in Mozambique who will be inspired by Leia Dongue, who is regarded as the engine of the Southern African team.
However, a confident Akhator told NationSport yesterday that they are in Belgrade to pick one of the tickets in the group made up of Mozambique, Serbia and United States: “Our goal is to secure a spot at the Olympic; it’s not going to be easy and will be tough because Mozambique will come out with full force as well but I believe we prepared for whatever they bring as well.”(Text courtesy The Nation)