Coach Igor Kovasevic of Côte d’Ivoire has dubbed Nigerian national teams and in particular, D’Tigress, as the NBA/WNBA teams of Africa.
The Coach whose team lost a quarter finals match (72-56) to Nigeria yesterday at the ongoing 2021 Afrobasket for Women in Cameroon, said the Nigerians are of high standard that any opponent on the continent would like to emulate.
“Nigeria is the NBA of Africa; the teams are of very high standard. We like what they are doing and how they have been able to build the teams high up so well. Their organisation is so good and we can see what they are doing,” he noted with satisfaction.
Kovasevic and his Ivorian ladies will continue their campaign in the classification matches holding today in Yaoundé but he is proud of what his players were able to achieve.
“We lost to Nigeria and it is important to note that. Nigeria is not an easy team; I am satisfied with what we are able to do. We could have sat back there and let them blow us out with 40 points but we were able to prevent that. We played against a well organised team.
“My players need to be encouraged. For them to get as high up like Nigeria or Senegal and Mali, they need infrastructure. I came in from Zambia and they have better infrastructures.
“In Cote d’Ivoire, we have a lot better players, talents abound but they need the environment to grow so big like Nigeria. These players need better environment.”
Coach Kovasevic admitted that countries like Nigeria have embarked on a lot of scouting over time to gather their best. “Scouting is good and it helps but the players need good setting to do very well,” he concluded.