D’Tigers are set for the World Cup qualifiers with Nigeria finalizing their roster for the first-leg of Group B of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers in Bamako, Mali by adding two prolific scorers – Ike Diogu and Micheal Efevberha.
Diogu, who led Nigeria in scoring at FIBA AfroBasket championships in 2013 and 2017, is set to lead a team that also includes Efevberha, who powered Nigeria’s offense with a team-high 17.4 points per game in the 2009 edition of FIBA Africa’s flagship tournament in Libya.
While this will be Efevberha’s first appearance for Nigeria since 2009, Diogu sparked his country to a runners-up finish last at FIBA AfroBasket 2017 last September, and as a result, he was named the tournament’s MVP.
The first-leg of Group B of the World Cup African Qualifiers will run from February 23-25 in Mali, and Nigeria will face Uganda, hosts Mali and Rwanda, FIBA.com confirmed.
Coach Nwora and majority of the players from abroad are flying straight to Bamako from their various bases. The contingent from Lagos made up of players, the two assistant coaches and some backroom staff left Nigeria for Bamako on Wednesday, Extrasportsnigeria.com can confirm.
At stake in the African Qualifiers are five tickets on offer for the continent’s countries to reach the first-ever 32-team FIBA Basketball World Cup taking place in China from August 30-September 15, 2019.
Ojo Michael Adetokunbo