B/Faso Scared of Nigeria, Says D’Tigers Coach

Coach of Nigeria men’s basketball team, Sani Ahmed, believes fear factor is one of the reasons the Burkina Faso Basketball team have delayed playing against D’Tigers in the 2015 African Basketball Championship qualifiers.
The first leg tie was scheduled for last weekend in Ouagadougou but the hosts cited logistics problems and also requested that both home and away fixtures be played in their homeland.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation has rejected the idea of playing both games in Burkina Faso, and FIBA Africa has yet to give its verdict on the matter. But Ahmed says Nigeria’s pedigree in African basketball is enough to intimidate opponents.
“They said they had logistics problems, that’s for FIBA to deal with. But I believe the quality of our team has forced them to take a different approach to the qualifiers.
“I don’t subscribe to the idea of having to play the two fixtures in their country; we also have our fans at home who want to see us play and cheer us to victory.
“I think Burkina Faso are just buying time in order to regroup their players and see what they can come up with. I don’t think they’re prepared for us; they’ve never beaten us before.”
Ahmed’s belief was buttressed by Mark Mentors and Burkina Faso player, Mike Savadogo, who admitted that his country was never prepared to host the first leg fixture.
Savadogo, who represented Mark Mentors at this year’s Afrobasket club competition, said his country’s team did not prepare for the encounter and players were only given the liberty to train individually pending the time they would be called upon by the association.
The NBBF has requested from FIBA Africa that Burkina Faso forfeit the game according to stipulated FIBA rules and regulations.
It also wants the African basketball ruling body to compel Burkina Faso to pay all cost incurred during the period of preparing D’Tigers for the failed first leg encounter.
Meanwhile, Nigeria will participate in a four-nation invitational tournament scheduled to hold in South Africa next month.
The NBBF said D’Tigers will face Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa in the competition.
Coach Ahmed described the invitational tournament as a welcome development, stressing that Kenya and Mozamque are teams that can contend strongly against the D’Tigers in the continent.

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