The Nigeria Basketball Federation revealed its schedule for the women’s national basketball team D’Tigress’ build up of events in preparation for the 2013 Afrobasket in Maputo, Mozambique.
Nigeria has been drawn in group B which includes Mali, Angola, Cape Verde, Cameroon and Kenya in the preliminary round that leads to the championship. The coach Scott Nnaji-led D’Tigress will be looking to repeat the 2005 feat when it won its second championship title with the opportunity to improve on its FIBA rankings where they are presently 4th on the African continent and 26th in the world.
According to NBBF, the team resumes a combined training camp in Abuja from the 12th through to 25th of August as part of the preparation for the tournament which runs from the 20th to 29th of September.
Coach Nnaji will be relying on the services of some foreign-based players like Rashidat Sadiq, Ndidi Madu, Helen Ogunjimi, Sandra Udobi, Kikelomo Rafiu, Roselyn Fatima Gold-Onwude, Sarah Imovbioh, Sarah Ogoke, Chinyere Ibekwe and Tolu Omotola.
About 15 home-based players have been shortlisted from seven clubs in the Zenith Bank Women League namely: First Deepwater, Dolphins, First bank, Sunshine Angels, FCT Angels, Plateau Rocks and Nigeria Customs.
The Afrobasket Women Championships also serves as the qualifier for the 2014 FIBA World Championship billed to hold in Turkey as two countries are expected to represent Africa on the global format.
Nigeria won her first women Afrobasket crown in 2003 when they defeated 2013 hosts, Mozambique, and D’Tigress will have to improve on their recent show of form if they want to put behind their poor performance at the 2011 edition where they lost to Mali in the third-place match.
The federation will organise friendly matches as from 27th August till 17th September, before the team departs for Maputo on September 18. The final selection of players will be made after an international training tour of Africa and Europe which culminate at the Afrobasket Championships.