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‘With early preparation, D’Tigress will overcome U.S., Belgium, Senegal challenge’ |

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Nigeria’s Women National Basketball team’s (D’Tigress) Assistant Coach, Juliana Negedu Akere, believes the current African champions will qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic, if they are adequately prepared for the qualifiers billed to hold in February next year.

Nigeria has been drawn in Group B of the qualifying series, which also comprises the United States (U.S.), Senegal and host, Belgium.

Akere told The Guardian at the weekend that the D’Tigress have the potential to come out of the group unscathed given the necessary support.

“There is no doubt D’Tigress are in a tough group in the Olympics qualifier, but if we get adequate preparation, we will make it out of the zone.

“The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) should organise quality tune up games for the girls. The Championship is next year, and early preparations will keep the team in high spirit for the Olympics qualifiers.

“The current D Tigress team have players that are hungry for success. We are not scared of any team in the group,” she said.

Also speaking on the Olympics qualifiers, Customs Women’s Basketball team coach, Mohammed Abba, advised D’Tigress to be focused on getting the Paris Olympics ticket despite the calibre of teams in Group B.

“All D’Tigress need to do is to remain committed and resilient, as they do. Group B is tough, but I am optimistic that with the right choice of players and quality preparation, we have a quality team that will pick the Olympics ticket. Being African champions is enough motivation for the team to excel,” he said.

Sixteen countries will slug it out in four FIBA Women’s Olympic qualifying tournaments from February 8 to 11, 2024.

Hosts, France, and the United States, the champions, are the only teams that have qualified for the competition. The final 12 berths will be decided across the four qualification tournaments to be held in Belgium, China, Brazil, and Hungary.

Nigeria and Senegal are the only African representatives at the qualification tournaments after booking their places in the playoffs by finishing first and second at the 2023 Afrobasket Championship.

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