Again, D’Tigress battle U.S. as Adesokan, Olofua/Opeyori return — Sport — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
This is, perhaps, the biggest test of D’Tigress’ ability to stand among the big girls in the basketball event of the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
A match against the ‘almighty’ United States has never been a walk in the park for some of the best teams in the world.
And for D’Tigress, who are just trying to make their way into the elite group of the game, it is definitely a tough ask. But victory is achievable because in sports nothing is cast in stone. It all depends on the Nigerian team that files out at the Saitama Super Arena this morning.
A few days ago, the same United States defeated D’Tigress 93-62 in an exhibition match to remind the world that they are still the number one in the game.
Many have argued that the real deal is the Olympics proper, where every team will play knowing that defeat in one game could affect their chances of being in the medals range.
The game billed to hold early this morning will show how ready Nigeria is in the battle for a basketball medal.
Even without Nneka Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams, whose application to play for Nigeria was recently rejected by the world basketball governing body, FIFA, D’Tigress still has talented and experienced players to hold their own against the Americans.
In Amy Nnenna Okonkwo, Kunaiyi-Akpanah Pallas, Elizabeth Balogun, Aisha Mohammed, Promise Amukamara, Adaora Elonu, Atonye Nyingifa, Oderah Chidom, Ezinne Kalu, Victoria Macaulay, Erinma Ogwumike, and Ify Ibekwe, Coach Otis Hughley has enough ammunition to stand against the U.S.
As D’Tigers Coach, Mike Brown said of the country’s teams in these games, Nigeria “has the mindset of: ‘We’re going to Tokyo to win.’ Whatever that means at the end of the day, we’ll find out, but we’re not going to be OK with settling.”
Brown’s words are in keeping with Nigeria’s slogan, which was originally said by Nelson Mandela: “The world will not respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect. The black people of the world need Nigeria to be great as a source of pride and confidence.”
Brown added, “The Nigerian people, as I’ve learned, are extremely intelligent, extremely passionate, extremely prideful, and one of the hardest working groups of people out there. To be around that, and see the depth of talent this program has to offer, I wanted to be a part of it.
“Otis Hughley has done a fantastic job with the women’s team; they have an opportunity to advance, and we feel like we do too. Nigeria playing well in these games — could uplift a lot of people; not just in Nigeria or the continent of Africa, but for are a lot of black people around the world who identify with the continent of Africa.
“We welcome that pressure, and no one has put more pressure on this team than ourselves, but it’s something we look forward to doing and accomplishing at a high level to make everyone proud.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Dorcas Adesokan will meet South Korea’s An Seyoung at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza BDM this morning. It is a Group C badminton women singles game.
Also, Nigeria’s duo of Olofua Godwin/Opeyori Anu will battle with Russia Olympics Committee’s Ivanov Vladimir/Sozonov Ivan this morning.
Source: Sport – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
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