The D’Tigers have not impressed through three games in the preliminary rounds and many pundits are not convinced the team can successfully defend the 2015 crown.
Despite topping Group A with two wins in three ties, Nigeria was far from dominant in a group that should have been quite easy to navigate.
Beating Ivory Coast 78-77 in the opening game, the 2015 Champions dropped 77-83 surprisingly to Democratic Republic of Congo who are competing without key figures Bismack Biyombo and Emmanuel Mudiay who play in the NBA.
Beating Mali 90-67 put Nigeria in first place in the group but against another plucky side Cameroon in the knockout stage could prove disastrous for Alex Nwora’s side.
The team has had to rely on Captain Ike Diogu to steer them from trouble many time with the 2005 NBA lottery pick pumping 31 points and seven rebounds in the slim win over Ivory Coast.
Most members of the 2015 winning team including MVP Chamberlain Oguchi and Al-Farouq Aminu pulled out of this year’s competition.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter