By Patrick Omorodion, Abidjan
As the 2013 Afrobasket holding at the Palais Des Sports in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire enters its sixth day today, Team Nigeria tutored by Coach Ayo Bakare confront Cameroon with one thing uppermost on their mind, victory as it guarantees them an easier passage into the most crucial stages of the competition.
Bakare is plotting new strategies that will see his wards overcome the rugged and aggressive Cameroonians who, like their Nigerian counterparts, have garnered two wins against Congo and Mali,
“The Cameroonians are equally a hard playing side like Mali and Congo and I just hope the officiating will improve to allow for a good game. With three players down and another not too certain to play, we will work out another strategy to carry on,” he said.
From the calculations, a top spot for Team Nigeria in Group D will see them battling for a quarter final ticket against a Central African Republic side who are now struggling at the bottom of Group C despite a last group match against tournament favourites and former champions, Angola who are on fire here.
If they survive the Central Africans in the second round which they are mostly likely to, they may confront Algeria, a good but beatable side in the quarter finals and prepare to tackle defending champion, Tunisia who battle Rwanda today for another maximum point in Group B’s last match.
On the other hand, if Cameroon triumph against Team Nigeria today, then Olumide Oyedeji and Ike Diogu who co-captain Team Nigeria as second in Group D will have to face Mozambique, the same side they conquered on home ground to win the All Africa Games gold in 2011 in the second round.
After the Mozambican hurdle is that of the quarter final against host, Cote d’Ivoire who have the privilege of having a mammoth and vociferous crowd behind them and have been on rampage so far.