D’Tigers have been drawn alongside Argentina, Russia and Korea in Group B of the 2019 FIBA World Cup for men in China between the August 31 -September 15, 2019.
Nigeria currently 33rd on the FIBA ranking will once again be facing familiar foes and world number 6, Argentina for the third time since their last 2 previous meetings at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
It will be the first ever meeting against world number 10, Russia who are making a return to the world stage after missing out in 2014 .
World number 32, South Korea will hope to put the ghost of their 2014 World cup behind them where they finished 23rd out of the 24 participating nations when both sides meet in the sprawling city of Wuhan.
Speaking immediately after the draws, NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida described the group as fair but tricky pointing out that early preparation holds the key to a successful World Cup campaign.
“Now that we have known the teams that we will face, we need to start preparations in earnest if we are to make an impact in China.
“We are going to the World Cup as the number 1 team in Africa and the first country to qualify for the world cup globally on the back of a 9 -game- unbeaten streak, so we have definitely drawn some attention”, he said.
The team’s head coach, Alex Nwora revealed that discussions have already started between the coaching crew and the federation on how best to go about preparations for the world cup.
“In the coming days, we shall reel out our World Cup preparation plans which will also go side by side with the African Games. If we get our acts right and get the needed players we are targeting, we can achieve a result that all Nigerians will be proud of”.
FIBA President Horacio Muratore, new FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis and representatives from the 32 participating national teams were joined by members of FIBA’s Executive Committee and Central Board.
The event which heralds the first basketball World Cup with 32 teams was held in front of 8,000 spectators at Shenzhen Bay Arena.