Nigeria’s Michael Efevberha believes the 2015 African champions can shake the international basketball fraternity at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China by reaching the final.
Efevberha who is expected to be called up to Nigeria’s D’Tigers squad for the final qualifying round in February, admits that’s there is still work to be done in the last window of the African qualifiers when they go up against Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic (CAR) and Senegal.
“Even though we have already qualified for the World Cup, I’m sure the team can be ready for the final window of the Qualifiers in February and go out there and try to dominate as if we haven’t qualified yet.
“We want to set a tone and let all of Africa know that we mean business,” Efevberha told FIBA.com.
“So far the African Qualifiers have been getting more competitive as each round passes. There are some very talented players all over Africa and around the world.
“I’m really looking forward to watching and competing against them all in China next year.”
“Qualifying for the World Cup is definitely a huge accomplishment for our national team. It has been a while since we last did so and now we have the opportunity to go to China and shock the world.”
“I believe our national team is talented enough and well coached enough to reach the Final of the World Cup. When we lock in defensively we are very tough to deal with.
“We have enough firepower offensively to compete with anyone around the world.”
“The only team that can defeat us is ourselves. If we stay together as a family should, we will be very difficult to play against.”
The 34-year-old, who currently plays for Lebanese side Homenetmen Beirut B.C averaged 15.7 points and a team-high 5.7 assists per game in three games.
“Rejoining the national team was definitely a great honor for me,” he said.
“There is no better feeling than playing for your home country. I’m very lucky to hold dual citizenship and I’m happy that Nigeria recognizes me as one of their top players around the world.”
“It’s more than an honor to play for a team regarded as the strongest in all of Africa. I believe we’re also one of the best teams around the world, and we will make sure to show that at the World Cup this year.”
Efevberha warned: “Even though we have already qualified for the World Cup, I’m sure the team we’ll take for the final window of the Qualifiers in February will go out there and try to dominate as if we haven’t qualified yet.
“We want to set a tone and let all of Africa know that we mean business.
“So far the African Qualifiers have been getting more competitive as each round passes.
“There are some very talented players all over Africa and around the world. I’m really looking forward to watching and competing against them all in China next year.”
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