Nigeria’s D’Tigers have been drawn alongside DR Congo and Kenya in Group B of the 2019 FIBA AfroCan men’s basketball competition which begins on Friday in Mali.
The pairings were arrived at at the draws held in Praia, Cape Verde for the event which will hold at the Palais des Sports, Salamatou Maiga in Bamako.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the newly-introduced AfroCan by FIBA Africa is meant to fill the gap created by the new system of Afrobasket.
Afrobasket will now be held every four years, while AfroCan will be played every two years, according to FIBA Africa.
It is designed to give hope to players plying their trade in Africa and also aid the growth of the various domestic leagues.
The new competition’s format will see top teams in the four groups book automatic quarter-final tickets.
The second- and third-placed teams will compete in a qualifying round for a quarter-final place.
Afolabi Oni, the Media Officer of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), in a statement on Sunday quoted Surajo Yusuf, a member of the federation’s board, as hailing the competition’s introduction.
“The competition will provide a good platform for African players to showcase their talents and make a case for the various leagues in Africa,” Yusuf had said following the draw.
He assured that Nigeria would once again put its best foot forward as the NBBF would only go for the best materials available.
“Nigeria continues to rise on the international stage.
”Our team at the under-16 competition played in Cape Verde surprised many with their masterclass displays which have gone to showcase the abundant talents in Nigeria.
“Once again, the NBBF is determined to select only the best to represent Nigeria,” Yusuf said.(NAN)