Kano Pillars Basketball Club coach Sani Ahmed has said Nigeria can make history as the first African team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.
Nigeria and Senegal made history at the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Spain after they defeated Turkey and Latvia to become the first African countries to win matches in the history of the tournament.
D’Tigress beat Turkey 74-68 while Senegal got a 70-69 win over Latvia.
Nigeria play Argentina in their last group match on Tuesday for a place in the qualification rounds of the tournament while Senegal face China.
The top placed teams in each of the four groups automatically qualify for the quarter-finals while the second and third placed teams play in a qualifying round to determine their quarter-final places. Nigeria and Senegal are second and third in Groups B and D. Australia and USA have picked the automatic spots in the two groups after winning two matches.
Pillars coach Ahmed, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone on Monday, said, “From their (D’Tigress) first match against Australia, they had made their intention known. What the ladies lack in height, they made up for in strength and determination, which was why they were able to win one of the four quarters against Australia.
“They showed that same courage against Turkey and were able to win. The team can go far in the competition and make history as the first African team to make the quarter-finals. African basketball has come of age but we have struggled on the world stage for a while now. The current players on the team deserve to be praised for their efforts – as well as their coach.”