We will not discriminate against Nigerian-based basketball players – Coach Ayo Bakare

The coach of the D’Tigers says that players will be selected for Afrobasket 2013 on merit.

The head coach of the Nigerian Basketball Team, D’Tigers, has said that players will only be selected on merit, not on sentiment, as they prepare for International Basketball Federation’s, Afrobasket 2013, which will hold between August 21 and 30 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

Bakare also told PREMIUM TIMES that four out of the 13 home based players already camped in Abuja in preparation for the tournament will be selected to join their foreign based teammates.

Speaking about their performance, Bakare said he’s satisfied with what he has seen so far.

“I’m extremely satisfied with the boys’ performance in camp. They merited the call to the national camp,” he said.

Reacting to past disputes between him and former national team member, Ejike Ugboaja, he said, “I didn’t say that Ejike won’t be invited. He said he’s not interested in playing and if a player doesn’t want to play, I can’t force him.”

Bakare added that every player will be invited to the national team on merit.

“It’s not an automatic selection every player has to work as hard as possible. We are not going to give call-ups on platter of gold. And we will not discriminate between home-based players and those who play abroad. ”

The coach, however, refused to disclose the names of the players who will eventually feature at the Afrobasket tournament.

“It’s too early to determine who and who will make the final team but with what I’ve seen in the past few days, I have a strong belief that if they keep working hard there’s a very solid chance they’ll make it to Cote d’Ivoire.”

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