Nigeria began her quest for glory as the U21 national team came from two sets down to win their first game of the African Volleyball Champions Open at the 5th set.
The boys showed grit and determination after going down in the first two sets against Cameroon 24-26; 23- 25 but came alive to win the next two sets by 25-21 and 25-16.
With the fifth set to determine the winner, Nigeria showed their mental strength to win the set by 15 – 9.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung had declared open tournament at the indoors volleyball court, Package B of the Abuja National Stadium
Dalung who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sports Mr Olusade Adesola welcomed all the participating countries and charged the athletes to play fairly and embrace the spirit of sportsmanship during the one week long event
“I am delighted to welcome you to Nigeria for the African championship begin a qualifying tournament to the World Cup I wish you all the best, As host nation, our mandate is to offer you the best hospitality and successful hosting. Volleyball and sports is a unifying factor on behalf of the minister I declare the champions open” he said
In a chat with the Nigeria volleyball Coach, Enishanma Elam, expectedly was full of joy with the victory and declared his desire to win the Games.
According to him, “We did come to lose, but somehow the two first set came unexpected but we have to come from behind to take the last three set, he said.
“I know we are going to win, usually we underrated the Cameroon team, but before we came for the championship we have be sounding this to them that there is no team to underrate, but thank God we won, he said.”
Morocco defeated Lake Chad in the opening game of the tournament in three straight set 25-16, 25-14,25-16 respectively
The African U21 Nations Cup serves as 2019 World Championship qualifiers where the top two African teams book their tickets to represent Africa in the FIVB U21 championship.