D’Tigress duo – Aisha Mohammed and Evelyn Akhator have assured Nigerians of doing well at the Women’s FIBA World Cup, which will hold from September 22 to 30, in Tenerife, Spain.
Speaking after the team’s training yesterday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, the duo stated that their teammates were also ready for the competition which will bring together the best 16 teams in the world.
According to Mohammed, the team had trained in the US with the aim of putting up a good showing in Spain. The former captain also commended the coaching crew led by Otis Hugley, for doing a great job and making the team play as a unit.
“We have been preparing since July and working really hard together with the coaches who are doing a great job and trying to make us good and go out there play as a team. I believe we will be one of the best countries and also bring the trophy back home” Aisha said.
“I have been playing since 2003 so there aren’t any difficult issue for us because I have been there before which I have played against the top players out there. But I try to motivate some of my teammates, telling them they are not different from us and let them know they are not different for us,” she added.
“For Akhator, the Nigerian team still needs more training to be at their best at the world, as they would be playing against some of the best players in the world. She stated that the Team USA, the defending champions, are favourites to retain the title, considering the array of WNBA stars in the team.
“I must say that we are set for the competition. The coaches are really doing a great job and trying to make us better for the World Cup but they still need a little bit of training and practices.
“We are still preparing but we are like 70 per cent ready but we just need to take every practice one after the other. We need to be much more patient and understand ourselves in the team because we have some new people who just joined the team. My expectations are to get to the finals and get the goal which I promise Nigerians we will achieve,” the 22-year-old power forward/ centre said.
Nigeria will begin its campaign against Australia and will have Turkey and Argentina to contend with in Group B.