Commowealth Games: Nigeria To Face Australia, N/Zealand & Canada

Nigeria has been grouped alongside Australia, New Zealand and Canada in the basketball event of the XXI Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast 2018.

Despite being ranked number 1 in Africa and 32nd in the world, Nigeria is still the lowest ranking team in her group.

Host- Australia who finished 4th at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games is ranked 10th in the world.

Set to make her debut at the Commonwealth, Canada is ranked 25th in the world and has participated in 9 Olympic games and won a silver medal at the 1936 Games in Berlin.

New Zealand will be taking part in her 21st Commonwealth Games, having competed at every games since her inception in 1930 which has seen pundits dubbing it as the ‘Group of Death’.

The fixtures released by the organisers on Saturday will see Nigeria’s D’Tigers start their campaign against New Zealand on Friday 6th April, 2018 before facing Canada, a day later.

On Monday, 10th April, the Nigerians will file out for a great battle against the hosts.

Reacting to the draws, Vice President of NBBF, Babatunde Ogunade described it as a ‘Group of Death.’

The former Nigerian captain said the team’s performance will be hinged on the preparation for the games and the decision of the players to step up their game and prove a point.

“We want to use it to prepare for the World Cup qualifier. However, we will invite some foreign-based players to join their home-based compatriots and will train together for a long period.

According to the organisers, the top 2 teams in Group A will proceed to the semi final stage while the bottom 2 teams from group A will play the top 2 teams from Pool B in the qualifying finals with the 3rd in Group A taking on 2nd in B and 4th in A engaging the 1st B.

The order of the games will be determined during the competition.

Meanwhile, the camp has since opened on Friday, 5th of January, 2018 in Lagos.

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