By Bamidele Boluwaji:

Nigeria’s D’Tigers will on Friday begin their title defence in the FIBA Men’s AfroBasket holding in Tunisia as they face Cote d’Ivoire in their first game of the tournament, reports.

Nigeria won the 2015 edition in Tunisia to qualify for the last Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil and will also be hoping to achieve the same feat in the 2017 edition.

America-based coach Alex Nwora, who took over the team from coach Will Voigt who led the team to win the title two years ago, is also confident that he has a team that can successfully defend the title in Tunisia.

Speaking with Complete Sports before the team’s departure on Wednesday, Nwora said the strength of the squad lies in the young talents in the squad.

“We have many young players in this team with good records, they have been together for some time and I believe they have a lot to offer,” Nwora told

“We are getting set for our first game which we need to win to build that confidence but overall target of the team is to win the title just as Nigeria did two years ago.”

Nigeria will play in Group A where they will face Mali, Cote D’Ivoire and Democratic Republic of Congo.