Nigeria’s U-16 Basketball Coach, Fubara Onyanabo, has stated that his boys will play an aggressive, pressing style of game when they lock horns against Tunisia in the quarter finals of the ongoing FIBA U16 African Basketball Championship at the Vava Duarte gymnasium in Praia, the capital city of Cape Verde on Friday.
Nigeria finished second on the Group A log with seven points behind toppers Egypt winning three games with one loss while Tunisia in Group B finished third behind Mali and Guinea losing two games and winning two.
Speaking ahead of the crucial fixture, Onyanabo who has been able to turn the fortunes of the team around after their opening day loss to Egypt said he his going to approach the game aggressively so as to stop the fluid play from the North Africans.
“We are going to be aggressive on the Tunisians, we are going to break all their screens. In their final group game against Rwanda, they had a filled day, their shots were just going in, so we need to learn how to play from outside the paint.
“The Tunisian team are fundamentally sound, they look sluggish but they know exactly what they are doing. They do the right things at the right time on the court. Firstly they shoot from outside a lot and the also penetrate as well so we need to learn how to work on that defensively.”
The Nigeria’s had a shaky game against Algeria on their final group game losing the final two quarters but the coach has attributed their performance to the fact that the Algerians came out to plays as wounded lions who had nothing to lose.
“We can’t take it away from the Algerians. First, they came to the court having lost three games in a row and they had nothing to lose which made them play with more freedom. Their three point shots were flowing and I think our boys to some extent stopped playing to instruction.”
Despite the serene atmosphere, the coach said the food on the Coastal country has been a turn off for the boys.
The team was sponsored to the tournament by Nestlé Milo with the players selected from the recently concluded Milo championship.