Nigeria coach, Otis Hughley is confident that his ladies, D’Tigress have a quality chance of successfully defending the FIBA AfroBasket title when the competition gets underway on August 9.
Nigeria as defending champions are grouped with Tunisia and Cameroon for the African Women basketball competition.
Following the draw held in host venue Dakar, Senegal, Otis said in Lagos on Wednesday that the team can mount a strong title defence with the talents at his disposal.
Having led the team to a historic eighth place finish at the 2018 World Cup in Spain, Otis is aware of the buzz already created around D’Tigress ranked number 2 in Africa.
The team will hope to bury the ghost of their 2015 misadventure where they narrowly lost to host-Cameroon 70-71 in the semi final under Coach Scott Nnaji.
“I know Cameroon has a good history against us. They beat Nigeria in the 2015 semis. At this level, anybody can be beaten any day, so we are taking all the teams as the same. No matter who they are, we are going to play them hard and tough.”
But despite the confidence Otis knows that winning the title for the fourth time will not come cheap.
“It is a round ball, no matter what; it is still going to bounce. We are still going to worry about health and how the chemistry is going to pan out this year because we have not had a lot of time to train together.”
The reigning African Champions went 8 games unbeaten to clinch the 2017 title in Bamako, Mali defeating Senegal, 65-48 in the hotly contested final match.
Nigeria (Defending Champions), Senegal (host), Mali and Angola have been tipped as favourites by bookmakers.