There’s has been fears that the D’tigers will have a repeat performance of London 2012 where they were ousted in the preliminary round of the basketball event of London 2012 Olympics. The head coach of the team Will Voigt has dispel the insinuation saying that the team would progress to the next round, in a group that contains the likes of host Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Lithuania.
For Voigt, the momentum with which the players gained qualification for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics is still intact even as the opposition is stiffer going by the caliber of teams in Group B.
Nigeria will open her second straight Olympic appearance facing Argentina in Group B, and if they play the way they hope to, it would be the beginning of what Voigt called “a historic moment for Nigerian basketball.”
The coach told FIBA.com that his team are in high spirit, “If you are to ask any of our players going in to Tunisia, really our goal was to make history. We went there to win that tournament, that was our mindset.
He said the team’s mindset to the Olympics is to make history by becoming the first African side to progress to the next round of the Olympic games. ”I know that our guys will be disappointed if we don’t achieve that he said.
The Western Africans had been matched up against hosts Brazil, Argentina, Lithuania, Spain and a team that will qualify via one of the three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs).
Four years ago at the London Olympics, Argentina proved too strong for Nigeria in the Group Phase, winning 93-79 and advanced to the last four while the Africans returned home with a 1-4 record.
Dating back to 2012 Nigeria was 0-1 against the South Americans, but they were tied against Lithuania with one win apiece.
“We are opening against Argentina, that’s where our mindset is right now,” Voigt noted.
“They are former champions. We can’t ignore that fact. This is a team that has won it all.
They are going to be a formidable opponent.” Obviously they have a lot of experience, they have been playing together for a long time and they had a lot of success. They present a number of different challenges,” he explained.
Source: The Sun