13 September 2018

Nigeria: We're Ever Ready to Represent Nigeria - Okoye, Zana, Uzoh

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(file photo)

Members of the senior national men's team, D'Tigers, yesterday said that they were always excited over any opportunity to represent their fatherland and would do everything for the team's success.

Some of them who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos said that the entire team operated like one big and happy family and were prepared to help develop the sport.

D'Tigers is set to play in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers second round which comes up at the National Stadium, Lagos from Sept. 14 to Sept. 16.

They sit on top of group F and will square up with teams from Rwanda, Mali, Central African Republic, Cote D'Ivoire and Senegal.

Stan Okoye, who plays for Real Zaragoza of Spain, explained that he was excited to be back in the team and was prepared to give his best to the team's success.

"As kings of Africa, we have to continue to keep the flag flying, and continue with how great we are in basketball going by the abundance of talents.

"It's going to be my first time playing in Lagos and I am looking forward to home support, so, I want our fans to bring their energy and their noise to back us to victory," Okoye said.

Bryant Mbamalu, who plies his trade in Chile, said that it had been a wonderful experience playing in Lagos and he can't wait for the competition to get started.

"It is a very humbling experience for me and I am so ready and in great shape to deliver the quality I'm known for.

"It is also a big blessing to be called on to come and put on the national jersey out of the numerous talents we have playing basketball all over the world.

"We just want to do well and show the world we are a great basketball nation and have what it takes to conquer the world some day," Mbamalu said.

A member of the 2017 silver winning Afrobasket in Tunisia, Ike Ireogbu, said that it feels so good being back in the team.

"I am happy to be back in the team and give my support to the success of D'Tigers as we work hard to qualify Nigeria from the World Cup.

"It's my fourth time in Lagos having travelled around the world and it feels great and I can't wait for the competition to begin and showcase my passion for the national team.

"Right now, I am very focused on what we have to do and which is top play together as a team and ensure Nigeria qualifies for the World Cup," Ireogbu said.

Similarly, Talib Zana, said he was happy as he looked forward to yet another opportunity to deliver the stuff he knows how to do best.

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