Hughley says Olympics a must as D’Tigress tip off qualifiers

Nigeria women national team coach Otis Hughley says the team is fully focused on the task of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

After masterminding the team to the 2019 Afrobasket title which has seen the D’Tigress climb to the number one spot in Africa according to the latest FIBA ranking, Otis said qualification for the 2020 Olympics Qualifying Tournament (OQT) is not negotiable.

Speaking from the team’s base in Maputo, Hughley confirmed that preparation is going on as planned with all invited players ready to give their best when they start their pre-qualifiers campaign.

“We are aware of the task ahead of us. The culture of basketball is fast growing in Nigeria and the people are expecting us to win every time we file out. These expectations have continued to spur us to want to give our all and represent the country the best that we can.

“We must continue to show the world that we deserved to be the best in Africa and also become one of the best in the world.”

Hughley believes the team ranked 16th in the world can get better and climb higher while achieving greater things as a group.

Nigeria will play its first match against DR Congo on Thursday at the Pavilhao do Mazaquene in Maputo before facing hosts Mozambique on Saturday, 16th of November at the same venue.

The winner of the group will proceed to the final stage which involves teams from Europe, Asia and Americas.