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Olympics warm-up: D’Tigers to battle USA  

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By Jacob Ajom

The Nigeria Basketball Federation has lined up a series of trial matches and tournaments for senior men’s basketball team, D’Tigers and the last of such friendlies is one against the invincible Team USA ahead of the Rio Olympics.

Speaking on plans for the D’Tigers ahead of the Games, NBBF President Tijani Umar said, “the team will be very prepared before the Games. We have a match against China, two friendly matches against Lithuania, and we are also expected to attend a four-nation invitational in Lithuania.”

Continuing, the federation boss said, “after the four-nation tournament in Lithuania, D’Tigers are expected to play Team USA on August 1, from where they will fly straight to Rio.”

Umar who was speaking in a sports programme on NTA, monitored in Lagos said Nigerians should be rest assured that the national team will go to Rio well prepared.

Nigeria played USA Dream Team at the London 2012 Olympics and the D’Tigers were scorched by a class of NBA stars known for its supremacy in an historic match that will forever haunt the image of Nigerian basketball in the international arena. At the end of regulation time, the scoreboard glowed USA: 156 Nigeria: 73.

Meanwhile, head coach of the women’s national U-16 team, Adeka Daudu has backed the senior women’s national basketball team, D’Tigress to qualify for the Olympic Games.

After placing second in the African Women’s championship late last year, D’ Tigress will be attending the 2016 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT)  in Nantes, France in June.

And Adeka said, “D’Tigress chances are very bright. If we put our acts together, we will be in Rio with both the male and female teams, representing Africa.”

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