Head coach of Nigeria’s D’Tigers, Ogor Odaudu accepted the blame for the team’s poor performance and exit from the ongoing Pre-Olympic qualifying tournament.
The Nigerian team lost the opening game narrowly to Senegal 87-93.
All hopes of qualification was dashed as the number one ranked team in Africa bottled a three quarter lead in the fourth quarter to Mali.
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D’Tigers won the first quarter 25 to 17 points, took the second by 43 to 38 and the third quarter by 61 to 53 before dramatically crumbling in the fourth quarter to lose the game by 68 to 77 points.
The back to back defeats in Lagos meant D’Tigers will not be at the 2024 Paris Olympics, for the first time since 2008.
Coach Odaudu said it was a difficult experience for him, especially when his team led in both defeats up till the least quarters of each match but took full responsibility for his team’s failure.
“I have no explanation for the defeat to Mali. We have made mistakes and I take the blame. We did all we could to win on the court, but things did not work out. We did not have the best of preparations, but still, I take the blame. Hopefully, we move forward.”
However, some basketball pundit believe the preparation was not top notch and as such said the blame of the teams failure should be shared between the coach and the Nigerian BasketBall Federation NBBF.
There was confirmation of lack of preparation, facilities, and last-minute planning from the federation and government in regards to the Pre-Olympic qualifiers.
Written by: Debby Eselebor