Buhari Commends D’Tigers On Tokyo 2020 Olympics Ticket …Shifts Focus To Football, Athletics, Others
By Amaechi Agbo
President Mohammadu Buhari has commended the Nigeria senior male basketball team, the D’Tigers for their heroics in qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
President Buhari’s message was conveyed to the team by the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.
The minister who conveyed the President’s message via telephone after the D’Tigers defeated host China in a Classification match on Sunday to pick the sole ticket for Africa, said the government will strive to keep the team together as well as shift attention to football, basketball, athletics, boxing, weightlifting, table tennis, canoeing among other sports to ensure that they also reached the milestone recorded by the basketball team.
Nigeria, Sunday, defeated China 86 – 73 to become the first Africa team sport to book a place in the 2020 Olympics slated to hold in Japan’s Tokyo city.
Responding after the feat, the the minister who spoke with the team and its officials commended them for a job well done and conveyed President Buhari’s congratulatory message to them.
“D’Tigers just did it!!!! They beat the Chinese basketball team 86-73 moments ago to qualify for the Olympics. Again, the team has proven to be real Tigers. Congratulations D’Tigers. Thank you for making Nigeria and Nigerians proud,” the minister said in series of tweets.
“Minutes after the basketball game against the Chinese team, I was on the telephone to congratulate the players and coaching team and convey the congratulatory message of Mr President to them for qualifying to fly Nigeria’s flag at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
“With a score of China 73-86 Nigeria, Nigeria’s D’Tigers secured Africa’s sole Olympic ticket to Tokyo 2020. We will strive to keep them together as a team. Football, Basket Ball, Athletics, Boxing, Weightlifiting, T-Tennis, Canoeing etc will engage our attention,” Mr Dare concluded
Nigeria men’s senior basketball team became the first team sport to secure a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after defeating China 86-73 points in the last classification game of the 2019 FIBA Men World Cup.
The resilient team took the initiative in the second quarter from China who won the first quarter, 21-19 points as they asserted their authority to end the first half, 35-31 points.
Playing against China who were also desperate for an automatic ticket from Asia, the players came to the party to clinch the 3rd and 4th quarters, 25-20, 26-22 on the day that 4 players recorded double figures.
Josh Okogie who shot 16 points, 3 assists and 5 rebounds to help his team to a win was unanimously voted as the man of the match while Nnamdi Vincent scored 14 points, 2 assists and 1 rebound.
Ekpe Udoh and Chimezie Metu scored 13 and 11 points respectively as the D’Tigers recorded the highest number of wins (3) in a single World Cup.
Head Coach, Alex Nwora described the win as a sweet victory which was enough to compensate the team for missing out of a place in the quarter finals
The Honorable Minister of Sports, Dare Sunday immediately after the win in a phone conversation with the team congratulated them for the win which has elevated the status of Nigerian sports globally.
NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida said the Olympics ticket and the boys performance was a testament to hardwork of the board and the technical crew.