|*D’Tigers in action during a match.|
We Are Sorry, D’Tigers Apologise
After failing to progress to the semi final stage of the 2013 Afrobasket holding in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, players of the senior men’s basketball national team, D’Tigers have offered an apology to Nigerians for the disappointment. Co-captains of the team, Olumide Oyedeji and Ike Diogu who spoke separately yesterday, expressed the disappointment of the entire players and promised to get better and hopefully win the next edition of the competition in 2015.
“It’s really sad that we lost to Senegal after the initial progress we made, I still can’t believe we have lost , it’s like a dream to me. It is unfortunate that we disappointed Nigerians but I hope it will get better because we have young players whose average age is 24, 25. There is future for the team and I know they will get better,” Oyedeji said.
His co-captain, Diogu who is the second oldest in the team after Oyedeji said he too, like the whole team feel they have let Nigeria and Nigerians down after showing that they were capable of winning the competition.
“I feel disappointed that we have let our nation down after the support they gave to us. It is a learning process but we promise to get better and come back stronger,” he said, reiterating Oyedeji’s position that they still have years ahead of them.
“We started well but played some hard games against Cameroon and Congo. In the match against Senegal, we didn’t play our game and they took advantage of it. It is really painful because we put in our best but it didn’t work out as planned,” Diogu stressed.
One of the youngest players in the team who was improving with every game, Ben Uzoh also expressed disappointment on their loss, but added that since it was his first time with the national team, he hopes to have another time to make up for the disappointment.
“This is my first time in the national team and I thank the coach for giving me the opportunity to represent my country. I hope to continue to do my best in the future,” he pledged.
Richard Oruche who picked up a foot fracture in the first game against Mali said he really appreciated the way Nigerians prayed and supported the team and said it was sad they couldn’t go beyond the quarter final.
“I feel we disappointed the country after the support they gave us. I know I could have contributed to help the team win if not for the injury I suffered,” he said, adding that “in the competition in 2015 we hope to do better than we did this time and go on to win the trophy. I am very happy for the opportunity given to me to represent my country.
ABIDJAN 2013 AFROBASKET
SEMI-FINALS PAIRING – 30/08/13
EGYPT VS SENEGAL – 16H00
COTE D’IVOIRE VS ANGOLA – 18H30