Nigeria’s D’Tigers will now meet Cote D’Ivoire on Friday at the City Arena in Guangzhou, in their opening match of the classification round at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
The match is the first game for the Nigerian male senior team in the classification 17-32 of the competition, and will come up at 1600hrs (0900hrs Nigeria time).
They will go on to take on China at the same venue on Sunday.
Nigeria had finished third from the competition’s Group B on Wednesday, dropping to the classification round which can in the long run give them a ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games.
D’Tigers who bounced back from two defeats to Russia and Argentina turned up the heat on the Asians to put the team in contention for an Olympic berth as the best African side at the World Cup.
With Puerto Rico’s win over Tunisia, D’Tigers have the highest point differential of any African team of +24 points.
Speaking at the post match conference, Head Coach, Alex Nwora said finally getting the win and getting their 2020 Olympics qualification back on track was comforting.
“Korea was good, but we were taller and we used that to our advantage. On the court, our tactics worked out well and I must commend my players for a job well done.”
With mixed feelings, Alex said, “We didn’t come to the World Cup just to fight for the Olympics ticket. We came with the mindset of a podium finish, but sadly we could not achieve this. We are happy to be back in the race for the Olympics.”
The coach said the lessons have been learnt as attention has now shifted to the classification games to be decided in Guangzhou.