Barring any hitch, victorious Nigeria’s Senior Men basketball team, D’ Tigers who were expected in Abuja, the nation’s capital, yesterday may be feted by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa today.
D’Tigers made history, Sunday night, in Rades, Tunisia by winning a first-ever Afro-Basketball Championship against perennial winners, Angola thereby earning a ticket to the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
Nigerian Pilot Sports gathered that their plans to head straight to Nigeria as against earlier schedule for the players to fly back to France was due to signals from the Presidential Villa which suggested that President Buhari would likely host the team today.
Speaking on the teams’ itinerary right from Tunis, capital of Tunisia yesterday, Spokesman of Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, Patrick Omorodion, said already plans are on to secure necessary documents that would ensure safe flight back to the country.
According to him, “We are meant to depart Tunisia on Tuesday or latest first thing Wednesday morning. The delay in leaving Tunisia was due to the fact the team was earlier scheduled to head back to France.
“But as I talk to now, the federation officials are doing all within their power to secure both Air ticket and other necessary pass out of Tunis. I must tell you both the players and team officials are tremendously happy for the first ever Afrobasket victory.
“We have always come close to winning the title but one thing or the other has kept denying us. We appreciate the support of all Nigerians and the government. We hope the high momentum continues.”
Before scaling all odds to beat eleven-time champions Angola in the final of FIBA African Basketball championship and automatically qualified to be in Rio De Janero, Brazil on Sunday, Nigeria have reached the final of the competition up to four times since 1964 but have failed to pick the most revered title in the continent’s basketball championship.
One of the teams’ woeful performances was in 2013 when they were bundled out of tournament at the quarter-finals.
The introduction of Will Voigts, an American Coach made the difference as the team which comprised 80% of the same boys that played in 2013 became triumphant.
Nigerian guard, Chamberlain Oguchi was awarded the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and best 3 Point shooter, while Minnesota Timberwolves and Senegal’s rebound machine Gorgui Dieng won the best Rebounder and Scoring titles.
Oguchi and Al-Farouq Aminu also made the Tourney’s best team.


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