D’Tigers in action against Tunisia
By Duro Ikhazuagbe
The coach of the Tunisian basketball team, Abdel Tlatli has said that lack of real international exposure put a lot of pressure on his team in the match a against Nigeria.
The Tunisians were beaten 60-56 by Nigeria in the men’s opening match at the London Olympics. He maintained that Nigerian players have always been at advantage over his country in view of their exposure and physical strength.
"We knew they were great going into the encounter. We didn’t have that kind of physical strength exhibited by Nigerians. We expected nothing less from them have watched them over time," Tlatli said.
The coach said that even though they had arrived in London as the African champions, the pressure was more on them because it was their first appearance in a competition like the Olympics.
He said, "We are champions but the Olympics is collection of great teams of the world and we have never been here in the past. The players were under heavy pressure to say the least. All tried do was to manage the huge challenge in terms of exposure by making them believe in themselves. I told them we could either win or lose but the final result depended on how we approached the game.
"We eventually lost but there’s surely nothing to regret about. It is a good learning point for the future for Tunisia basketball."
The coach said that they would put in their best in their remaining four matches of the competition.
"In games some things eventually turn out differently from what was originally envisaged and so we cannot begin to say we may no longer do this or this what we intend to do. We will take the next games one after the other. We all we need is to play well," he said.