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Junior D’Tigers to arrive in Nigeria tomorrow

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The Junior D’Tigers defeated Angola yesterday to qualify for the quarterfinals of the on-going FIBA U-16 African Basketball Championship.

Nigeria’s bronze-winning contingent to the recently concluded FIBA U16 Africa Basketball championship in Cape Verde will arrive at the Murtala International Airport by 11:40 Nigeria time tomorrow, the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has disclosed.

The team departed Praia, the capital city of Cape Verde 22:00 (12 am Nigerian time) to arrive in Senegal, where plans have been concluded for them to take a tour of the prestigious NBA and Aspire Academies in Dakar before departing Senegal for Nairobi.

The team finished third on the log at the recently concluded FIBA U16 African Basketball championship in Cape Verde, beating Guinea 54-53 in the losers final on Sunday.

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President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Musa Kida, through the team’s NBBF representative, Suraj Yusuf, has revealed his admiration for the boys after their feat coming third against all odds.

National coordinator of the Nestlé Milo Basketball Championship, Sam Ahmedu, one of the delegations to Cape Verde has also redeemed his pledge to the team after their victory against Guinea in the third-place match.

Meanwhile, head coach, Fubara Onyanabo said he is excited with the performance of his team, adding that seeing the boys take the third position is a consolation, which they can build on in the future.

“I am really excited, it was a very tensed game and I could not take my eyes off the board in the final quarter of the game because the Guineans kept coming at us but the boys held their nerves for the win.

“I am disappointed we didn’t get the World Cup ticket, we tried our best and I am sure we will do better next time. It goes to show that with proper preparation, Nigeria can do better at these competitions. We have an abundance of talents in this country I must say that for certain.”

Nigeria has matched its best performance at the tournament. The country finished third at the maiden edition of the competition in 2009.

In the final match, Egypt dethroned defending champions, Mali to win their fourth title of the U16 championship and will head into the 2020 U17 FIBA World Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria as Africa champions.

Junior D’Tigers shooting guard, Farouk Isah made the list of the top five players at the tournament alongside Diallo Ibrahima of Guinea, Abouzied Moamen of Egypt, Sangare Youssef of Mali and Egypt’s Ahmed Abdullah.

Nigeria’s Reuben Chinyelu also scooped the individual award of the tournament’s highest rebounder with a total of 112 rebounds, Abouzied Moamen beat Nigeria’s Precious Ikpe to the best three-pointer award, scoring a total of 23 times also winning the tournament’s MVP, while Cote d’Ivoire’s Moulare Assemien scored the most points in the tournament.


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