Nigerian women's b-ballers drawn with U.S. in Olympic qualifiers

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-28 09:53:29|Editor: ZD
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LAGOS, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's female basketball team (known as D'Tigress) has been drawn alongside the United States, Serbia and Mozambique in the battle for a spot at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

This was revealed at a brief ceremony held in Switzerland on Wednesday to officially kick start the Olympics Tournament qualification race. The team will play in Belgrade after being drawn in Group A.

Reacting to the draw in Lagos, Nigeria's economic hub, president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Musa Kida said qualification for the 2020 Olympics is possible despite admitting that it was a difficult draw.

"Being drawn against world number one (USA) and seven (Serbia) surely will not make the job easy but I am optimistic that qualification for the Olympics is possible," he added.

"The men have already qualified and all eyes are on our women to also join their counterparts in Tokyo. D'Tigress are the reigning African Champions and we hope this will count for something when they start the qualifiers," he said.

Kida hammered on the need for early preparation for the team if they are to stand a chance in the group.

"We know that a tournament of this magnitude costs money, time and proper planning. We are going to be working with the Ministry of Sports and the Honorable Minister, Sunday Dare to ensure that we return to the Olympic Games," the NBBF chief told reporters.

The last time Nigeria met USA was at the FIBA quarterfinals in the Women's World Cup in Spain where the D'Tigress lost 41-70 points against the team that later went on to win the trophy.

Reigning African champions Nigeria's last qualification for the Olympics was in 2004.