President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Musa Kida has described the recent rise in world ranking of his men’s team as highly rewarding.
D’Tigers, Nigeria’s men’s team, moved up 10 places to the 23rd in the World in the latest FIBA ranking released after the 2019 FIBA men’s World Cup in China.
The team which became the first country in the world to qualify for the World Cup won three games and lost two during the competition to finish 17th out of the 32 participating team.
The Alex Nwora tutored side who have qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are still ranked number one in Africa ahead of Angola, Tunisia, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire who are ranked second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.
While reacting after the ranking was published, Nigeria Basketball Federation President, Musa Kida said the latest feat was the right reward for hard work put in place by the federation and the team during the qualifiers and World Cup preparation which culminated in a good outing in China.
“We are really excited with this announcement. It shows that the world has continued to pay attention to Nigerian basketball after many years of playing second fiddle.
“Although, I believe that we deserve more than being 23rd best team in the world based on our current form, but it is a process. The federation is excited that we are on the right track and we will continue to push harder in our resolve to record more successes.”
USA still hold on to the number 1 spot while current World Champion, Spain are ranked second ahead of Australia who climbed 8 places to 3rd spot.