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D' Tigers of Nigeria
President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Tijjani Umar have confirmed that both the men and women national teams will play at least two international friendlies ahead of the 2017 Afrobasketball championships.
Umar made the disclosure during his presentation at the Annual General Meeting held on Monday at the NAF Conference Centre and Suites.
The Nigerian sides will take on Lithuania, Australia, France, Serbia and China in the friendly matches billed to be played in July in 2017. “As I’m speaking to you, the Federation has already sealed two friendlies each for the male and female teams,” 
“The games will be played in July. Everything is being paid for by the host – ticket, accomodation, local tranport. All we have to do is present a team. This is a huge move forward.” He, however, showered praise on the teams for their successes at the 2015 Afrobasketball, 2016 Olympic Games and the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
“Our team played in Rio and they did – people would say not very well – but in my mind, they did well. Because after the tournament, we moved up 9 spots on the FIBA Ranking.” It would be recalled that Nigeria participated at the Rio Olympics Games as the only African country, finishing at the 11th overall, one position above China.
D' Tigress of Nigeria
Although, the female team failed to pick get one of the available tickets during the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in France, the president was satisfied with their performance. “What we did with the WOQT was to take D’Tigress from the African level and put them at the level of the world. So that this year 2017, for Afrobasket Women, there won`t be any competition. I`m telling you, our ladies will win Afrobasket for this year.”
D’Tigres will be seeking to defend their African title when the 2017 Afrobasketball kicks off in Brazzaville, Congo-Brazzaville, from August 17 – 31.
However, the hosts nation for the women’s category is yet to be announced.

Written By: Sportingking for sportflames.com

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