President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Tijjani Umar has expressed optimism about Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
‘D’Tigers’ dropped six places to 24th in the latest Fiba world ranking released on Monday, having missed the World Championship held in Spain, but retained its 3rd position on the African zone.
Umar says the NBBF has enhanced its blueprint for the national men’s basketball team ahead of the Fiba Afrobasket qualifiers and is confident D’Tigers will have a better rating after the 2016 Rio Games.
“I think it’s a challenge to say ‘you have done very well but have relaxed. Now you need to do more.’ We are back on track and by December, we will be playing our first Fiba AfroBasket qualifiers away game. It’s going to be on home-and-away basis,” he said.
“We have adopted a roadmap to the 2016 Olympics in Rio. If we make it to next year’s Afrobasket competition and end up on the podium, our ranking will be different after the Olympics.”