Nigeria’s senior men’s Basketball team, D’Tigers has been ranked the best in Africa according to the latest released FIBA ranking.
Recall that the D’Tigers failed to secure World Cup qualification after losing to Angola in the last group stage.
The Nigeria Basketball team mainly comprising of home based players won two games, defeating Guinea and Ivory Coast, but lost the most important game to Angola and failed to secure a World Cup ticket
The latest ranking released by FIBA says that D’Tigers secured 461.4 points to be ranked first in Africa and 19th in the world.
Tunisia are placed second on the continent and 21 in the world with 448.6 points, while Senegal are ranked third in Africa but placed 37th in the world. Angola are the fourth best nation in Africa but 41 at the global level.
Ivory Coast, who also qualified for the World Cup, occupy the fifth position in Africa and 42 in the world.
However, Spain is the surprise package as the occupy the first position on World ranking with a total of 758 points, closely followed by United States, Australia, Argentina and France.
Nigeria’s national basketball team, the D’Tigers, have been ranked as the top team in Africa by basketball’s global governing body, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
This ranking comes as a result of their success in the FIBA World Cup African Qualifiers and can be seen as a great achievement for the team. As one of the most dominant forces in the continent, Nigeria are the only African nation to qualify for the World Cup, which is to be held in China later this year.
The decision to rank the D’Tigers first in the continent sees them overtake the traditional powerhouse of African basketball, Senegal, who have been ranked second.
Nigeria’s team has been managed by Chris Ekung since 2015 and consists of a number of key players who have gone on to become household names in the world of basketball. These include Al-Farouq Aminu of the Houston Rockets, Duke prospect RJ Barrett and 2014 NBA champion Ike Diogu.
The team have been given a major boost in recent times with the premier of their first ever male national basketball league, the DStv Men’s Premier Basketball League. The league provides an avenue for the team’s key players to showcase and improve their talent, while providing a platform for new talents to be discovered.
During the qualifiers, Nigeria showed their strength by registering impressive wins over Rwanda, Senegal and Ivory Coast to ultimately book their place at the 2019 World Cup. This achievement has cemented the team’s place as one of the most successful basketball teams in the continent and their new FIBA ranking is certainly well deserved.
With their successful qualification to the 2019 World Cup, the D’Tigers have set a bar for other African nations to follow and has shown the possibilities that are achievable when dedication and hard work are applied to the game of basketball.
It remains to be seen whether the D’Tigers will be able to replicate their success in the 2019 World Cup, however Nigeria’s national basketball team have certainly set the benchmark of excellence for African basketball on the world stage.