By Eddie Akalonu
Nigeria’s senior men’s basketball national team, D’Tigers have intensified training for the London Olympics with build-up games in their on-going tour of China. Last week Saturday, they squared up against Foshan Long Lions Basketball club and won 84-54 at the Jiangmes stadium.
The were again on duty the next day against Fujian Quanzhou Bank at the Zhong Shan City before facing a double cracker against Shanxi Zhongyu yesterday and today.
According to the NBBF programme, the team will thereafter head to Houston, USA on June 19 with 15 players for more build up games against Team Great Britain and later on June 24 proceed to Brazil for a Super Four tournament where they will face Brazil and others.
The preparations are in readiness for the London Olympic Games qualifiers billed for July 2 to 8 in Caracas, Venezuela. The team will battle for the ticket in a group that has Lithuania and host, Venezuela.
The D’Tigers have never played in the Olympics but their female counterparts, D’ Tgresses featured in the Athens Games in 2004 without a win. The men’s team have Ayo Bakare as head coach and Dominic Okon, Tim Shea and Sani Ahmed as assistants.
Twenty one players who embarked on the current tour include Olumide Oyedeji, Al-Farouk Aminu, Melvin Ejim, Ekene Ibekwe, Ade Dagunduro, Stanley Gumut, Derrick Obasohan, Richard Oruche, Tony Skinn, Usman Abubakar, Mike Ohiero and Noruwa Agho. Others are
Michael Eric, Solomon Alabi, Akin Akingbala, Ike Diogu, Ejike Ugboaja, Ike Ofoegbu, Ezenwa Ukeagu, Anagonye Aloysius and Koko Archibong.