Some Nigerian basketball stakeholders have commended the performance of the senior national men’s team at a four-nation challenge event which ended on Sunday in South Africa.
The D’Tigers emerged victorious at the maiden edition of the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament after defeating Kenya, Mozambique and hosts South Africa.
Led by coach Sani Ahmed, D’Tigers defeated South Africa 97-58 in their first game on Friday, Kenya, 83-52 and Mozambique 51-42 on Saturday.
In the final match on Sunday, D’Tigers outclassed Mozambique in their second meeting by recording a 72-59 win to lift the trophy.
The stakeholders told newsmen in separate interviews that more of such competitions would help the team’s home-based talents garner experience.
Abimbola Faniran, the Akofa Ivy Junior League Co-ordinator, said the victory by the D’Tigers which featured mostly players from the DStv Premier League was a good development for Nigerian basketball.
“I’m pleased with the outing of our players. They showed good quality and proved their capabilities.
“The competition will contribute a lot to our ratings and also earn a lot of respect for our national league.
“We also have to praise the leadership of Olumide Oyedeji, the team captain, who was outstanding in the tournament and who led the team with his vast experience to win the trophy.
“We hope for more of such tournaments, because it will go far to help our players and help the domestic league to be recognised on the continent,” Faniran said.
Dauda Adeka, the Assistant Coach of Mark Mentors of Abuja, said it was a great achievement for the D’Tigers and a victory for the entire basketball family in Nigeria.
“We are very excited about this. Our boys did well and once again put our name in a position to be seen as a force to reckon with on the continent.
“We want more competitions of this nature, so that we can showcase the quality of our league,” Adeka said.
The Head Coach of Police Baton, Mark Balogun, in his reaction, said the D’Tigers performance was a good development in the right direction of rebuilding the national team.
“It’s a great development for our basketball, especially our home-based league players. We need to give them more of this exposure to build their confidence.
“When they are involved in numerous invitational tournaments, they will be able to master their acts and several techniques properly.
“Because this is the essential ingredient to developing players into world-class status, we urge the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) to look out for more tournaments of this nature.
“Because if players are involved in more playing games, they will have more time to practise and perfect strategies and the necessary skills to become world-class players,” Balogun said.