D’Tigers Qualification for 2021 AfroBasket Not Negotiable, NBBF Insists

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The leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has affirmed that the country’s qualification for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Men’s Tournament is non-negotiable.

The federation rolled out this warning to the senior national basketball team on Tuesday as countries get set for the next window of the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket qualifiers to be hosted in Rwanda and Egypt after the conclusion of the first window in February.

With gradual return of international basketball following the disruption of the global calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NBBF has set its sight on a successful AFROBASKET qualifiers campaign.

NBBF President, Musa Kida said yesterday that preparations have started in earnest to ensure that the 2020 Olympics bound D’Tigers qualify for their 28th Afrobasket tournament.

“We are not unaware of the huge task before us to ensure another seamless qualification for Afrobasket. We know that millions of Nigerians are expecting us to qualify without drama and that is exactly what we are working towards.”

Currently ranked 26th globally and 1st in Africa, Nigeria is grouped alongside host- Rwanda, Mali and Algeria in Group D

Kida hammered on the need for early training camp and preparations to adequately get the team ready.

“No more minnows in African basketball. All the teams in our group deserve to be there and they deserve our respect. We need to prepare early and adequately to live up to pre-tournament ratings by pundits.

“We cannot afford to let our fans down. They are already looking beyond the qualification series between 27th-29th, November and 19th-21st, February, 2021.”

Nigeria will start her race for qualification when D’Tigers meet Algeria on Friday, 27th of Novemberbefore taking on the host on Saturday.

D’Tigers will conclude their first round of qualification campaign against West African opposition, Mali on Sunday.

The top three teams in each group will qualify for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket tournament taking place in Kigali, Rwanda between 24th of August to 5th of September.