by Pius Ayinor
With Nigeria’s D’Tigers facing the dreaded US basketball team on Thursday (today), players of the Nigerian side are getting support from family members who have moved to the match venue.
Some of the players’ parents have moved base to London just to see the encounter. The PUNCH learnt that the parents of Alade and Al-Farouq Aminu and already in town ahead of the game. Richard Oruche’s mother and younger sister arrived in London on Monday for the match.
His father who spoke with The PUNCH on the telephone from the USA confirmed that he would be in London early hours of Thursday to watch the game. He said the game is raising so much discussion in the US because most Nigerian players have NBA root.
“There’s difference when you are on the side of the court feeling the atmosphere; the cameras cannot pick everything,” Osita Oruche said.
Coach of the team, Ayo Bakare, the team would be desperate to avoid the 2001 Africa Nations Cup in Morocco by playing well against the US today.
Bakare led the Nigeria basketball team to the event when head-to-head format knocked Nigeria out as the team’s average was least among the rest.
“It was going to be the chance of a life time. We could have been able to use our very best, and link up with the top-notch sponsors but we lost out in such a painful way. We have another opportunity here in London and we are set to seize the moment against the bookies favourite team.
Bakare added, “You can bring on the US now. We know whom we are playing and we are taking it in our strides. As long as it is going to be five players on five players all through then we shouldn’t have any worry.”
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