Basketball

Alex Nwora: Blame me for D’Tigers group stage ouster

Alex Nwora

D’Tigers coach Alex Nwora has absolved his team of any blame for failing to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.

Nwora’s team lost to Russia and Argentina in their opening two group games but bounced back to win their remaining three games to secure automatic qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Nwora, who arrived Lagos on Thursday with two of his players, Obinna Metu and Zannna Talib, said he should be blamed for not switching tactics after the first defeat.

“Blame me for the team’s inability to qualify for the quarter-final,” Nwora told newsmen on arrival.

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“The games we lost (to Argentina and Russia) were games we could have won but for some little details and lack of experience at that level. When I changed players and tactics for the final game, we blew Korea out.

“We were the lowest ranked team in Group B and nobody gave us a chance at all but to qualify for the Olympics is a massive feat for us.

“I was not under pressure during classification games as I was confident we were going to clinch the Olympic ticket. I told the guys the task and they played accordingly.”

Nwora, who is looking forward to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, also called on early preparations for the team ahead of the trip to Tokyo next year.

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“We need to start camping early enough to prove a point in Japan.”

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