D’Tigers have arrived in Guangzhou, China ahead of their classification game against Cote d’Ivoire, billed for Friday 9:00a.m Nigeria time.
The team already missed out of the second round ticket of the ongoing FIBA World Cup after losing their first two games against Russia and Argentina.
They however kept their hopes of picking up an automatic ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a victory over South Korea in their final group game on Wednesday.
The Alex Nwora team are now hoping to finish strong in the classification games so as to qualify for the Tokyo tournament, as they face West African rivals, Cote d’ivoire.
“The team has continued to improve and we hope to step it up on Friday,” Nwora said.
“Tunisia, Senegal, Angola and Côte d’Ivoire will all be desperate to get the Olympic ticket. So we must get our acts right and get the job done.”
During the final phase of the World Cup qualifiers, Nigeria defeated Côte d’Ivoire in Lagos 84-73 points before suffering an away 72-46 points defeat in Abidjan to hand the Ivorians a World Cup qualification lifeline.
Nwora said all records are now in the past with all teams in search of a ticket to Tokyo.
“We have played each other in the past but this is different. The stakes are now high and we are all aware of that. All the games we played in the past will count for nothing at this stage,” Nwora added.
For D’Tigers to stand a chance of qualifying for Tokyo, they must win their games against Côte d’Ivoire and host- China (on Sunday) to emerge as the highest placed team in Africa.
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