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FIBA Qualifiers: We’re Focused On Beating All Contenders -Nwora

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The head coach of the senior national basketball team, D’Tigers, Nwora on Sunday said that his team were focused on beating all contenders at the ongoing 2019 FIBA Africa World Cup Qualifiers in Lagos.
D’Tigers had defeated all eight teams so far in the competition starting with the first window in 2017 where it topped the group F that had power houses Senegal and Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Mali, Rwanda and Cote D’Ivoire are also contenders for the two tickets available for a place in the World Cup to be hosted in China.
Nwora told newsmen that his players had the capacity to defeat any team but would not underrate any opposition that comes its way.
“We are a rock solid team and blessed with abundance of talents, but we cannot celebrate now until we play our final game.
“We can continue to improve on our quality based on the availability of our players who are so desirous to represent their fatherland.
“So, we are not satisfied until we pick the ticket and prepare ourselves for the competition ahead,” Nwora said.
D’tigers crushed CAR 114-69 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos to register one of the biggest scoreline so far in the second round of the qualification series holding in Lagos.
Ikenna Ireogbu, who contributed 18 points to the success of D’tigers, said that he was happy with his performance and that the team was basically focused on getting Nigeria to play in the World Cup in China.
“I am happy about the results so far but we can only work harder and give our best to the success of the team.
“Although we had little time to train, but so far we have struck an understanding and are working towards achieving good results,” Ireogbu said.
Similarly, Senegal had recorded seven wins out of eight matches played so far, and were also looking confident for a spot in the World Cup.
Senegal showed superiority over their arch rivals, Mali beating them 82-71 to prove their quality and maintain the stability of the team.
Senegalese star player, Youssouphe Ndoye, recorded 23 points to power the team to success; he also had six defensive rebounds and three offensive rebounds.
He told newsmen that Senegal; he was confident about their chances of qualification.
“We have to keep fighting, we fear no opposition, we are here to play ball and we will qualify for the World Cup.
“We cannot be intimidated because we know we have the quality to land our team in China,” Ndoye said.

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WAFU Zone B Qualifier: Rivers Govt Throws Weight Behind Angels FC

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Rivers State Governor, NyesomWike, has placed a marching order to accord the necessary support needed to aid the Jewels of Rivers, Rivers Angels FC  qualify from  the  West African Union(WAFU) B and ultimately win the CAF Women’s Champions League Cup.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye  disclosed this, Monday, in a press statement signed by the state government’s press officer, Daniel Nwankwoala.
The commissioner commended the team for its victory over Hasaacas Ladies of Ghana in the opening match of their group qualifier, played at the weekend.
He promised to give the necessary support needed, as ordered by the State Governor, to enable the team get the desired results, playing their CAF Women’s  qualifier and win the cup as well.
“The Governor has placed an order to ensure that the team lacks nothing needed,  to help boost their morale, help them perform optimally and aid victory, as they embarked on this maiden competition,”  Iyaye said.
Earlier, head coach of the team, Edwin Okon,  has expressed optimism that his team will perform even better, having prepared adequately for the competition.
“We will fight to the end, my girls will do even better job. I can assure you that, the(players) are  in high spirit and determined to win.
“I am glad that we don’t have injuries worries, so, we are set and ready to do Nigeria proud,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Port Harcourt, Nigeria representatives started  their campaign in the WAFU Zone B qualifier  with a 2-0 win against their Ghana opponents, Hasaacas Ladies on Saturday, to get closer to qualification for the semi-finals.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Sports Minister Hails Anyanacho,Offiong

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has described Elizabeth Anyanacho as a future star.
Anyanacho lost 12-7 to Turkey’s Nur Tatar in the Round of 16 of the women’s 67kg taekwondo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday morning.
Dare, who watched the bout, congratulated the 22-year-old despite the defeat.
“You’ve done well against a world champion. Keep your focus. The world will soon rise to salute you in the near future,” Dare told Anyanacho.
Tidesports source reports that he was also on hand to encourage Edem Offiong, who lost 4-1 in the second round of women’s table tennis to the USA’s Lily Zhang.
“You exhibited strength and talent. Nigeria thank you for making the country proud at the Olympics,” Dare told Offiong.
The pair of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori also lost their second Group B match in the men’s doubles badminton event against Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, while Dorcas Adesokan was beaten 2-0 by Spain’s Clara Azurmendi in the opening Group B match of the women’s badminton singles.

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We Won’t Give Up On Playing For Nigeria – Ogwumike Sisters

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Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams say they haven’t given up their dream of representing Nigeria in the future after they were denied the opportunity to play for the country women’s basketball team at the Tokyo Games.
The three WNBA stars, who all have American and Nigerian citizenship, would have strengthened D’Tigress squad at the Olympics, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled they were ineligible to represent Nigeria at the moment after having played for the United States.
“I still have a lot of pride and high hopes for the Nigerian team as it is composed now,” Nneka Ogwumike said.
“So, maybe this time around, I won’t be a part of it directly, but I certainly do hope that I can be in the future.”
“I think the fight has just begun,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “I cannot accept to being called a naturalised citizen, when I have full citizenship.
“People don’t know the extent to which my family, and myself in particular, ever since I was at Stanford, has been going back to Nigeria to help. So to have someone say that I am not Nigerian is not fair to my family or my heritage or myself. It just does not feel right at all.”
Williams, who plays for the Atlanta Dream said, “It’s really about the principle now. We’re still going to keep appealing and fighting because I think people need to understand there are a lot of us that have dual citizenship. Even if we grew up here, our households look very different than what people think, and that part of us is very real.

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