Nigeria’s D’Tigress Avoid Holders USA in Group Draw


Femi Solaja with agency report

Three-time African champions Nigeria’s D’Tigress have avoided holders United States in the group stage draw for the FIBA ​​Women’s World Cup scheduled to hold later this year in Sydney, Australia.

D’Tigress, who have won the past consecutive African titles, were drawn alongside hosts Australia, Canada, France, Japan and Serbia in Group B.

The USA, bidding for their fourth consecutive Women’s World Cup, will face Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, China, South Korea and one other side yet to be decided in Group A in Sydney.

Russia had qualified for the tournament, but world governing body FIBA ​​has

excluded Russian teams and officials from its competitions following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

As a result, the final team to compete is yet to be determined, with a decision expected on 25 March when FIBA’s central board holds its next meeting.

The top four teams in each group will proceed to the quarter-finals at the tournament, which will be held from 22 September to 1 October.

The Americans, ranked number one in the world, swept past Japan to clinch a seventh straight Olympic Games gold last August and have won a record 10 World Cups.

In his reaction to the FIBA ​​World Cup draw, President of NBBF, Amadu Musa Kida said, “In the last four years, we have continued to shock the world and other teams are now paying some serious attention to us. To continue on that path, we have to work extra hard to sustain the tempo”.

He stressed that it was important for Nigeria to present his best team in Sydney.

Kida insisted that in line with NBBF’s continued resolve to give its national teams the best preparation as allowed by resources at its disposal, the Otis Hughley led team will play some Grade A friendlies while in camp.

“This is where the Federal Government comes in through funding. Early approval and release of funds is at the core of all our proposed plans. “Preparing for such an important tournament costs money and we will be banking on the Federal Government”, Kida said.

The NBBF boss reiterated that D’Tigress were not just any team from Africa.

“We are no longer referred to as just another team from Africa. We are now being addressed as Nigeria based on what we have achieved in the last four years which saw us winning three Afrobasket titles, back-to-back World Cup qualification and Olympic Games participation”.

Currently the lowest ranked team in the group, D’Tigress are unmindful of the task ahead as the sole representative of Africa at the global level and a quest to pick one of the four available quarter finals tickets.

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