The head coach of the FCT male and female basketball teams, Emmanuel Odah, has said Nigerian women basketball team, D’Tigress and their male counterparts, D’Tigers have the capacity to perform well at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
The former Benue Braves and Zuma Rock star, while reacting to the 2020 Olympics draw for the male and female basketball events held at Mies in Switzerland yesterday, D’Tigress have a chance to advance beyond their group with good preparation.
The Nigerian women basketball team who are the reigning African champions were drawn against powerhouse United States of America, France and Japan in Group B, while the men team, D’Tigers’ only known opponents at the moment are the Australians. The two other teams in D’Tigers’ group will be determined by qualifying tournaments in Serbia and Croatia.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP Sports shortly after the draw, Coach Odah said there is no team in the world that is unbeatable.
“It is difficult to predict now because I have noticed that in the world today no team is a pushover and nobody is unbeatable. It all depends on your preparation and the mindset of your people.
“The difference between us and the people we are talking about now is that they have a system and the way they play. We have the raw athletic and the Nigerians in us that we can do it.
“The Nigerian ladies are good to go. The team has a progression and consistent programme.
“The national female basketball league has been a compact and that is why we have more girls in US Colleges than guys. Most of the girls in the national team are from Zenith Bank Basketball League. They played in the zenith league and that is the progression I am talking referring to. We don’t have that in the men league. I’m very optimistic about the women team,” Odah said.
Coach Odah also said the male team, D’Tigers would do well with adequate preparation and have the strength to beat Australia. “You cannot underestimate the power of preparation because most of these people are already ready. But as a coach, I believe we can beat Australia and I’m sure D’Tigers will go with that mindset to beat the Australian team.
“Our men team is strong and there are some professionals in the team. With the caliber of players, we have, if we prepare early for the tournament, we’ll do well.”