Some players of the Nigeria National basketball team D'tigers have said the team's victory over Tunisia today has proven to the world that Nigeria is the best basketball team in Africa.
The Nigeria basketball team popularly known as D-Tigers who are playing in the olympics for the first time in their history got their quest for olympic gold on a flying start by beating Tunisia 60-56 in a hard fought victory.
Ike Diogu one of the forwards said:
"It was our first win at the Olympic Games ever so it has to be a historic day for us. Now we showed everyone that we are the best team in Africa. We just played legitimate basketball to show the world who's the best in Africa."
He also revealed that it was a keenly contested game against their African rivals. "They were bigger than us, but myself, Alade (AMINU) and the other guys prove that we can fight the rebounds against any team in the world." some members of the team also gave their views on the game. Al-Farouq Aminu believes that Nigeria made a statement with the victory and also gave Tunisia credit for their fightback.
"Credit to Tunisia for playing well. It was all on us and I feel responsible, I couldn't get going for whatever reason, maybe it was first-match jitters I don't know. But good to get a win under our belt," he stated.
Alade Aminu,the rebound specialist in the team also revealed that the victory will make Nigerians back home pay attention to the game. "Football is still the biggest sport but if we keep winning we will get more attention".
He added: "We knew that they were bigger than us, but that's why I'm there, to bring energy to the team, battle for every rebound and get us the ball back. When you're at the Olympics, you want to be remembered as a winner. People were waiting to see Tunisia dominate us in the low post, but those things motivate us more. And that is what it is all about, motivation."
One of the forwards Tony Skinn also gave his thoughts on the game. "I feel good. We got our first win. Obviously we didn't do the necessary stuff to put the game away in the first half but that happens when you're playing in a tight game. Tunisia played hard and made it a game towards the end, but we got the win".
Nigeria will play her next match on Tuesday against Lithuania.The D'Tigers are confident of emerging victorious in the encounter as they defeated Lithuania in the olympic qualifying tournament.
Aminu stated that: "They are a great team. Nobody was expecting us to win and that motivated us even more to prove to everyone that we can play basketball."
Diogu also believes they have to be aggressive in their play to beat the Lithuanians. "We have to play physical, be aggressive and play a team game. We have a group of strong guys."