African champions D’Tigers will depart Lagos for Tunisia on Wednesday with a 14-man squad for the 2017 Men’s Afrobasket championship, which begins on Friday.
The competition is co-hosted by Tunisia and Senegal.
D’Tigers are in Group A alongside DR Congo, Mali and Ivory Coast. They begin their title defence against the Ivoirians on Friday at the Salle Omnisport de Rades, Radès before engaging Mali and DR Congo on September 9 and 10 respectively.
Group B, with venue at the Marius Ndiaye Stadium, Dakar, has Angola, Central Africa Republic and Morocco, while Group C has co-hosts Tunisia, Rwanda, Cameroon and Guinea.
Senegal, Mozambique, Egypt and South Africa are in Group D.
Majority of the squad members who won the title for the first time in 2015 including the influential Chamberlain Oguchi, Shane Lawal, and the Aminu brothers, Al-Farouq and Alade, were left out of the trip to Tunisia with only Ike Diogu, joining the new team.
Coach Alex Nwora mixed a blend of overseas-based pros with their home-based counterparts, the first time the domestic league players would be given a chance in the national team for the event, in a long while.
D’Tigers squad for the 2017 Afrobasket, captained by Diogu, includes Musa Usman, Abdul Yahaya, Azuoma Dike, Victor Anthony, Deji Akindele, Okaro Akamune and Bryant Mbamalu.
Others are Ike Nwamu, Akin Akingbala, Ike Iroegbu, Anthony Odunsi, Kelechi Anuna and Daniel Ochefu.
It would be recalled that Nwora was coach of Cape Verde in the 2013 edition of the Afrobasket championship in Ivory Coast, where he led the island nation to defeat D’Tigers 79-76.
D’ Tigers began preparations for the defence of their title in Lagos with 12 players from the domestic basketball league while the overseas-based players were camped in New York with Nwora.
The Lagos camp was handled by assistant coaches Adewunmi Aderemi and Abdulrahman Mohammed.