Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has again congratulated the country’s men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, after their 94-71 blowout of Argentina in a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games preparatory match that has further boosted the possibility of Nigeria winning an Olympic Games medal in basketball.
D’Tigers continued their preparation for the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a dominating win over the world’s number four ranked team in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on Monday night.
It was a second straight win for the Nigerians and it came just two days after they defeated the top-ranked United States 90-87 at the same venue.
The results and player performances in both games will leave Mike Brown, D’Tigers’ head coach, with a huge problem of pruning his 15-man squad to 12 before the team departs for Japan on July 17, eight days before their Olympic Games opener against Australia in Saitama.
Nigeria will also play in Saitama against Germany (July 28) and Italy (July 31) in Group B of the men’s Olympic basketball tournament, and the country’s sports minister is beaming with confidence and, at the same time, proud of Brown’s squad after their second major upset in 48 hours.
“Our players showed up for business and took care of business. Their performance in just these two games signposts the future of basketball in Nigeria. I salute and commend their patriotism and the courage and confidence they have brought to the game. You continue to make Nigeria proud,” said the Minister in a statement made available to The Guardian.
Meanwhile, the country’s women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, will begin their pre-Olympics tune-up games on Wednesday in Las Vegas against Australia.
Coached by Otis Hughley, the Nigerian ladies will three days later meet the Australians again before rounding off their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics with a game against the number one ranked United States.
Minister Dare says he has no doubt about the depth of talents in the Nigerian team and is sure they will show up for business as their male counterparts.
D’Tigress will play against the United States, France, and Japan at the Olympics where Nigeria will be presenting both men and women’s basketball teams for the first time at the same Games.