Both players, who last featured for the senior national teams at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, have been recalled by D’Tigers Head Coach, Alex Nwora, for the crunchy games against Mali, Rwanda and Uganda.
Afolabi Oni, the faction’s Media Officer, said in a statement that the decision on the changes, which are with immediate effect, was taken after a review of the national teams’ activities.
But with the rules guiding the games, the 2015 FIBA AfroBasket champions still have a lifeline to remain in the competition and also compete for a medal.
The D’Tigers captain, who currently plies his trade with Sichuan Blue Whales in the Chinese Basketball Association organized league, said irrespective of their losses, the boys are still united and determined to make the country proud.
D’Tigers, who are in Pool A alongside hosts Australia, New Zealand and Canada, were dominated throughout the proceedings by the Tall Blacks, as the New Zealand basketball team are referred to.
The list which was compiled by the Coach, Alex Nwora-led technical crew, was made public on Wednesday by the NBBF secretary, Chimezie Asiegbu.
Talib Zanna was Nigeria’s top performer against the east Africans as he contributed 14 points with six rebounds and four assists to a collectively effective performance by the D’Tigers.
However, they could not sustain the attack against Nigeria as they managed to pick additional 29 points against D’Tigers 36 additional points at the end of second quarter.
The fans who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos said that the team could pick up a ticket to the World Cup from the group that pits Nigeria against, Mali, Uganda and Rwanda.
Aderemi on Monday said the move became necessary to create the right tactical balance for the team ahead of the competition
The team which is dominated by home-based players began training on Jan. 5, ahead of the competition which be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia between April 4 and April 15, 2018.