The coach of the D’Tigers, Mohammed Abdulrahman, says the team has good players who can win the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. The team, which is dominated by home-based players, began training on January 5 ahead of the competition which will be held in Australia between April 4 and 15.
Abdulrahman told NAN on Saturday that the team would surprise many at the forthcoming competition as early preparations would drive them to work hard.
“We are working hard to get the players ready for the competition; the players are the best players from the Nigeria (Kwese) Premier League,” he said.
“They are determined to give a good account of themselves.
“We will need some foreign players in some department to make the team stronger but in all retrospect, the players we have on ground are very talented and good enough.”
Abdulrahman called for overseas training and friendly matches to boost the team’s morale and confidence.
“We have to go abroad to play European teams and some African teams to test our capabilities ahead of the competition.
“This will go a long way to assess the players who can cope with the magnitude of the competition,” he said.
Similarly, Abdul Yahaya, one of the team’s star player told NAN that he was excited to be a part of the team that would contribute to Nigeria’s success.
He said the team was working hard to do well and would continue to push to get the best that would bring glory back home.
“It’s an honour to be among players in the home league, we have so much to do and we would continue to work hard to perfect the strategies in our preparations,” he said.
Yahaya was part of the silver medal-winning team at the 2017 Afrobasket tournament in Tunisia.
Nigeria has been grouped with the host country, Australia, New Zealand and Canada in the Commonwealth Games.
Although Nigeria did not participate in basketball event, the country won 11 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland.