Congratulations, first to the Nigerian Basketball male team, D’tigers, for reaching an outstanding milestone at the recently concluded Olympic qualifiers in Caracas, Venezuela.
They not only dashed the hopes of the host team, but also defeated the world no 4 and the world no 5 team in World basketball.
They even qualified at the expense of Angola whom the whole African continent used to know as the first basketball nation; ranking No 12 also in the world. Once again, Congratulations to them!
But I’d like to talk going forward now. D’tigers have been grouped alongside the USA, Argentina, Lithuania, France, and Tunisia.
Though it happens to be a group that looks tough, considering the fact that the USA (who happens to be the world no 1 FIBA ranked team) are coming with a ‘terror’ squad which includes the likes of Lebron ‘King’ James (current NBA most valuable player), Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durrant, Camelo Anthony, e.t.c. and Argentina who are also ranked no 3, Lithuania who are also ranked no 5, France who are ranked no 12 and Tunisia who are ranked below Nigeria in the FIBA ranking.
Though one may want to argue that they defeated Lithuania at the qualifiers, but one must not also be so quick to forget that they also defeated the Greeks at the qualifiers and this same Greeks defeated the D’tigers at the four nation tournament in Brazil.
So , the moral of the story here is just because you beat a team in a competition doesn’t mean you can always beat the team; you have to do your homework! So for the likes of Ike Diougu, Al-farouq Aminu. Tony Skinn, Derrick Obasohan, Oyedeji Olumide(Captain of the D’tigers team), Ekenechukwu Ibekwe, Adeola Dagunduro, Chamberlain Oguchi, Koko Archibong, Richard Oruche, Ejike Ugboaja, Alade Aminu, and of course head coach Ayo Bakare and Hon. Alhaji Tijani Umar; President of the Nigerian Basketball Federation, ‘Segun Ikuesan; Media Officer of the Nigerian Basketball federation, all basketball journalist/columnist and writers, as well as all basketball enthusiast including your’s sincerely must all roll up our sleeves and not only continue to bask in the euphoria of the D’tigers success in Venezuela.
Would D’tigers roar their way to the podium at the Olympic Games in London, just like they roared their way to snatch the Olympic ticket to the London Olympic Games between the 27th of July,2012 and the 14th of August 2012! Well, we can always wish them the very best; although all things appear to be working together for good for them with Blake Griffin (USA) looking to be out with an ankle injury and Noah (France) also out with an injury.
As the Olympics starts in earnest, Basketball pundit, Leo Abanikanda, takes a critical look at the chances of Nigeria's national basketball team, D TIGER in the summer games against the best teams in the basketball world. Listen to Leo Abanikanda on topsports on top radio 90.9fm every thursday by 11pm.