By Emmanuel Okogba
Nigeria’s D’Tigress will face familiar opponents when they kick of their FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup campaign in Sydney, Australia in September.
Drawn in Group B, they will face France, Australia, Canada, Japan and Serbia.
D’Tigress who are now the 14th best team in women’s basketball qualified in second place after a nerve-wracking victory over Mali during the qualifiers played in Belgrade from a group that also had France and China.
The Nigerians saw off a much-fancied French side 67-65 in that qualifiers and will need to outdo themselves when they meet again if they hope to repeat the feat, as France were missing some of their key players in that tie.
Nigeria’s best outing at the FIBA Women’s World Cup was an eighth place finish during the 2018 edition that held in Spain. They lost 73-72 to Canada that time.
D’Tigress will first play Japan and then Australia, France, Serbia, Canada in that order.
Otis Hughley Jr’s team’s performance at the qualifiers earned them a step up the FIBA women’s world ranking, moving from 15th to 14th to remain the best female basketball team in Africa.
Following FIBA’s decision on Russian teams, the draw results featured a yet to be determined team (TBD) team. FIBA’s Central Board will decide which team from the Washington/Santo Domingo Qualifying Tournament will participate in the Women’s World Cup as replacement.