The Nigeria women’s national basketball team, D’Tigress, are set for a make-or-mar clash against their South Korean counterparts on Tuesday evening at the ongoing 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament taking place in France.
Having lost their first group C game 71-60 to Belarus on Monday, the Nigerian Ladies are condemned to win today if they are to stay in hunt for a ticket to participate in the women’s basketball event of the Olympics.
The D’Tigress did give a fair display against Belarus on Monday but there will be no room for errors against the Koreans.
Though current team captain Helen Ogunjimi sounded quite optimistic of the D’Tigress chances, another former captain of the Nigeria women team, Mfon Udoka, sees the Korea clash as a very tricky one.
“I think it is a tough one for Nigeria as the Koreans are largely an unpredictable side because they are unconventional in their style,” Udoka stated.
She added that the Koreans, given their stature, have the ability to shoot deep for three points and more, and could put paid to Nigeria’s dream for a place in the Olympics.
“It’s basketball and anything can happen, I hope we can go past the Koreans.” Udoka concluded.
In Monday’s outing, D’Tigress were tied 14-14 in the first quarter, but Belarus edged the second and third quarters 24-18 and 20-13 respectively, while the Nigerian Ladies took the fourth quarter 13-15.
Africa’s other representatives Cameroon also suffered opening day loss after going down 75-64 to Argentina.
Twelve teams from five federations are taking part in the qualifiers, with the top five teams earning places in the 2016 Olympics basketball tournament.
The 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament which began on Monday will end on Sunday.
Already, the Nigeria men’s national basketball team, D’Tigers have already qualified for the Olympics having emerged champions of Africa in the last Afrobasket Championships in Tunisia.
The team will be happy to see their female counterparts pull through from the qualifiers in France.