Commonwealth Games: Nigeria To Face Australia, New Zealand, Canada In Basketball
Nigeria’s D”Tigers has been grouped alongside host Australia, New Zealand and Canada in the men’s basketball event of the XXI Commonwealth Games, tagged ‘Gold Coast 2018’.
Despite being ranked number 1 in Africa and 32nd in the world, Nigeria is still the lowest ranking team in their group. Host- Australia who finished 4th at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games is ranked 10th in the world.
Set to make their debut at the Commonwealth, Canada is ranked 25th in the world and have participated in nine Olympic games and won a silver medal at the 1936 Games in Berlin.
New Zealand will be taking part in their 21st Commonwealth Games, having competed at every games since their inception in 1930 which has seen many people dubbing it as the ‘Group of Death’.
The fixtures released by the organizers on Saturday will see D’Tigers start their campaign against New Zealand on Friday 6th April 2018 before facing Canada, a day later. On Monday, 10th of April, it will be a great battle against the host.
Reacting to the draws, Vice President of the NBBF, Babatunde Ogunade described it as a ‘Group of death.’ The former Nigerian captain said the team’s performance will be hinged on the preparation for the games and the decision of the players to step up and prove a point.
“We want to use it as preparation for the World cup qualifier in which case we bring in foreign based players to join their home grown counterparts for a longer period, get more practice and bonding time for the team. We will use the opportunity of the Commonwealth camping to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers of both windows.”
According to organisers, the top 2 teams in group A will proceed to the semifinals stage while the bottom 2 teams from group A will play the top 2 teams from pool B in the qualifying finals with the 3rd A vs 2nd B and 4th A vs 1st B.
The order of the games will be determined during the competition. The camping has since opened on Friday, 5th of January, 2018 in Lagos.