D’Tigers have been handed a tough draw for the upcoming 2019 FIBA Men’s World Cup in China.
Nigeria is grouped alongside Argentina, Russia and Korea in Group B of the tournament, which is scheduled to kick off on August 31 2019, and run through September 15, 2019.
History will tell how the Argentines have predominantly remained an itch we are yet to get rid off in both football and basketball. This time, the Nigeria senior men’s basketball team will take on the world number six team for the third time since their last two meetings at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
D’Tigers will also for the very first time, do battle with the world number 10, Russia, who were absent at the 2014 World Championship.
The final member of this lethal group is South Korea, who are currently 33rd on the FIBA ranking, one place behind Team Nigeria.
South Korea will be looking to reset history in this year’s championship, considering their miserable departure from the 2014 World Cup, where they finished 23rd out of 24 teams.
Speaking to the media immediately after the draw, Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) President, Musa Kida, said the draw should challenge the players and the coaching crew to put in their utmost performance.
“We are going to the World Cup as the number one team in Africa and the first country to qualify for the World Cup globally on the back of a nine-game unbeaten streak, so we have definitely drawn some attention.
“In the coming days, we shall reel out our World Cup preparation plans, which will also go side by side with the African Games. If we get our acts right and get the needed players we are targeting, we can achieve a result that all Nigerians will be proud of.”
At the event, which ushered in the first ever 32-team FIBA World Cup, FIBA executives and delegates from all 32 qualified countries were present including Nigeria, duly represented by D’Tigers Team Manager, Musa Adamu and Lawal Razaq Dayo, Nigeria’s top level official at the embassy in China.