Nigeria’s senior women’s national basketball team, D’Tigress will open their 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) camp on Saturday, February 1 in Belgrade, Serbia.
The team under the tutelage of Otis Hughley will camp for five days before they start their campaign against host- Serbia, World Champion- USA and Mozambique with two Olympic tickets on offer.
Elizabeth Balogun with Louisville University may be handed her first national team debut alongside 2019 Zenith Bank Women Basketball League’s Most Valuable Player, Musa Murjanantu.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Vice President, Babs Ogunade, who confirmed this, said that the Guard has been given the all-clear to participate in next month’s Women Olympic Qualifying Tournament billed for Serbia between February 6th and 9th , 2020.
Prior to her release, Ogunade said that the federation made several efforts in the past to secure her release, including contacting her father, Mark Balogun, for his intervention.
According to him, D’ Tigress head coach, Hughley had to speak to her coach, Jeff Walz, in Louisville before she was released for the qualifying tournament.
The former Georgia Tech University guard, who was not released for the pre-Olympic qualifiers in Maputo, has been handed yet another opportunity to be part of the team in February.
Fellow Point Guard, Sarah Ogoke has since been recalled to the team to replace Upe Atosu.
Other players expected in camp include Italy-based Ifunanya Ibekwe, Promise Amukamara (France), Sarah Imovbioh (Belgium) and Spain-based Elo Edeferioka
Others include 2019 FIBA Women Afrobasket MVP, Ezinne Kalu, Evelyn Akhator and Aisha Balarabe who just moved to Spain.
Pallas Kunaiyi Akpannah will also join team captain, Adaora Elonu as they prepare for the OQT campaign having missed out of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
In a related development, the Head Coach of Air Warriors of Abuja, Samson Sotuminu and his counterpart at MFM of Lagos, Aderemi Adewunmi will also be on the train to Belgrade as members of the Technical Crew.
Their latest appointment came on the backdrop of their heroics last season in the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League.
Sotuminu guided league debutant- Air Warriors to the 2019 title while Adewunmi’s tactical acumen saw MFM snatching a continental ticket after narrowly losing in the final.