Countdown to the 2018 Commonwealth Games continues, Coach Abdulrahman Mohammed is optimistic about D’Tigers’ chances of having a good outing at the tournament.
This is despite D’Tigers being in the “Group of Death” comprising the host – Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Mohammed, who is an assistant coach in the current national team’s technical setup, headed by Alex Nwora, said the home-based players in camp were already giving a good account of themselves during training.
“They are ready to face their opponents at the games,’’ the coach said.
Speaking at one of such training, he said having faced these teams in previous editions of the Commonwealth Games, they are pretty aware of what to expect and the threat each country will pose to the D’Tigers.
“Even a layman knows that we are in the group of death.
“We have played those teams in the past at that same level of competition.”
Mohammed, who is also the head coach of Gombe Bulls basketball club, said since the competition was not on the FIBA calendar, most players in the NBA and leagues across Europe would not be released for the competition.
He believes that this factor would once again give Nigeria, who will be parading a team dominated by players from the local scene, the needed edge when they meet all these depleted oppositions.
“Most times, they don’t always have their best players available for that kind of tournament and we are counting on this same factor this time around.
“We feel that what we have right now are good enough to face the category of players they will parade at this level of the competition.
“This is because of the timing in terms of NBA and Europe based players who are busy with their clubs,’’ Muhammed said.
He expressed confidence that the players would be in top shape, even after the three weeks of camping for the games currently going on at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.
“The boys have been picking up well and improving.
“So far, it’s been great; the camping condition has been great and it is going on well.’’
The XXI Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia between April 4 and April 15.
By Afolabi Oni, Lagos