Nigeria’s senior women’s basketball team, D’Tigresses ,will face Australia, Turkey and Argentina in Group B of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018 taking place from September 22 to 30 in Tenerife, Spain.
Nigerian defeated Senegal 65-48 upturning a 14-point first quarter deficit at the 2017 Afrobasket Championship in Mali which served as qualifiers for the 16-nation event at the Spanish Canary Island.
The Senegalese, who will also fly Africa’s flag at the tournament are in a tougher group and are expected to have their hands full when they face super powerhouse USA, China and Latvia in Group D.
Korea, Greece Canada and France will slug it out in group A while hosts Spain, Japan, Puerto Rico and Belgium will contest in Group C.
Reacting to the draw, FIBA Africa Zone 3 President, Colonel Sam Ahmedu, is optimistic of Nigeria having a good outing at the championship despite the fact that they are the least rated team (34th) in their group. Australia are ranked 4th, Turkey 7th while Argentina are 15th.
“It’s a tough group no doubt because our opponent are ranked very high. Australia in particular are former champions of the tournament but we have players that are as good as those of other countries in the group. Our players have the experience and exposure to see them through. With good preparation, we will have a good outing,” Ahmedu, also a member of the NBBF, said.
This is the 18th edition of the championship which used to be known from 1953 to 2014 as the FIBA World Championship for Women. It is the biggest international women’s basketball competition and Nigeria will be making their second appearance having featured in 2006 in Brazil where they placed 16th.
Unsurprisingly, USA are the defending champions after their triumph over Spain at the last edition in Turkey. They are also the most successful team with nine titles.