W’Cup qualifiers: D’Tigers coach Brown invites Okogie, Metu


Ebenezer Bajela

D’Tigers head coach Mike Brown has invited 15 players to camp ahead of the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers scheduled to hold between August 26 and 28.

This is the first game any of the Nigerian basketball team will be involved in since the Federal Government lifted its initial two-year ban on international basketball.

In a statement released by the Nigeria Basketball Federation on Monday, Josh Okogie of the Phoenix Suns, Miye Oni, who last played for Utah Jazz and Ike Nwamu with BC Samara of Russia all returned to the team.

Chimezie Metu of the Sacramento Kings, who was part of the team during the last phase of the qualifiers in Rwanda, got an invitation alongside Uchenna Iroegbu, Michael Okiki (Gombe Bulls), Michael Oguine (Saint Chamond, France), Ben Emelogu (Rouen Métropole Basket) and Keith Omoerah, who plies his trade with Jamtland, Sweden.

Ibeabuchi Agu of the Nigerian Customs team will also be suiting up alongside his compatriots Michael Gbinije (Oklahoma City Blue, NBA G League), Amanze Egezeke (Kataja, Finland), John Iduh (Kano Pillars), Christian Mekowulu (Casademont Zaragoza, Spain) and Abdul-Malik Abu (S.Oliver Wuerzburg, Germany).

The team’s opening game will be against hosts Ivory Coast on August 26, before facing Guinea a day after. The team will square up against Angola on August 28.

Currently fourth on the table in Group E after two wins in four games, the team will hope to hit the ground running in its quest to book a successive World Cup ticket.

The 2023 World Cup holds from August 25 to September 10 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.