The Technical Committee of the Nigeria Basketball Federation has announced that the Women’s senior National team D’Tigress will be in close camping for the FIBA Afrobasket Women’s Championship until their departure on the 16th of August 2017.
This became imperative following the request by the team’s Technical crew led by Sam Vincent with just few days to start of the championship which starts on the 18th.
The decision became imperative following their third friendly against Raptors Men Basketball Club on Saturday in which they lost by 78points to 53 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.
According to the federation, the decision is to beef up preparations and perfect their technical and tactical plans for the championship after some lapses were noticed at the end of their third game.
Speaking on behalf of the federation, the Vice President, Babs Oguande explained that, “This decision is in the best interest of all parties involved. The team is now at the business end of their training and it is expedient they perfect their plans during this camping exercise before we travel on Wednesday.”
This decision means the team on Monday and Tuesday will train behind closed doors with fans and journalists barred from having access to their morning and evening training sessions.
“At this crucial time of their training, they cannot afford not to have the maximum level of concentration. We are going to leave no stone unturned just to ensure that we at the federation level play our part in ensuring that they girls are trained in the best condition available,” Oguande concluded.
The team will hold an open session with members of the press after their training on Tuesday before departing for Mali.
Tiwa Savage visits D’Tigress
D’Tigress camp received an August visitor on Sunday when Nigeria music sensation, Tiwa Savage paid an unscheduled visit to the team at their Protea Hotel abode.
The visit of the musician which was facilitated by a board member and athletes’ representative of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Ejike Ugboaja was part of a welfare package put in place by the new NBBF board to motivate the team and aid their bonding ahead of the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket Tournament taking place in Mali.
It was unprecedented as it was the first time in the history of any basketball national team that a celebrity paid a visit to the team before an international competition.
Speaking during her visit, the Nigerian music star who is presently signed to Mavin Records took time to encourage the team to remain focused ahead of their FIBA assignment as they perfect plans to storm Mali in style and win the tournament.
“I am so elated that I had the opportunity to come here and associate with a team that has been getting some positive rating amongst sports loving Nigerians. As a major proponent of the girl/woman power, I so much believe in you to do Nigeria proud when you file out against other countries in Africa.”
Presently rated second in Africa, Tiwa Savage said she was glad to associate with the team which is being tipped by bookmakers to be a strong contender for the 2017 title.
She promised that a better arrangement will be made after the tournament to host the team irrespective of the result recorded at the championship.
“It’s really unfortunate that men are always enjoying a place of pride in Nigeria especially in the sports circle. I want to encourage and motivate you to go to Mali and prove a point and show Nigerians reasons why they should support you.”
She enjoined the team to see themselves as champions and ensure that they do everything possible to bring back the cup.
Responding on behalf of the team, Aisha Mohammed who was recently appointed the captain of the side described the visit as a pleasant surprise which they will relish for a long time to come.
Aisha who started her international career with the senior national team in 2001 said, “This visit has really given us another reason to want to bring the cup home at the end of the competition.
“This visit has clearly shown that we are appreciated by our fans and Nigerians home and abroad and we are desperate not to disappoint them. We want to repay their faith in us and the only way we can do that is to bring the cup back home.”
Since it was a training free day, the NBBF also organised a boat ride for the team led by Sam Vincent as they continue to bond on and off the court with few days to their opening game against Mozambique coming up on the 19th of August
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