Salah Mejri who led Tunisia to their first Olympic qualification with dominant displays in the low post last summer at the Afrobasket in Madagascar has predicted that Nigeria will not survive the Olympics playoffs for a place in the London Olympics. The 2.17m center averaged 8.9 points, nine rebounds and 2.43 blocks as the Tunisians swept all before them to capture the gold medal, including a 67-56 triumph over 10-time champions Angola in the Final.
Questioned about the chances of African sides such as Nigeria and Angola at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Caracas, Venezuela so as to join Tunisia in London, Mejri believed that the Angola side was a good team, despite beginning to feel the age factor. He stated that they can still make it to London.
Mejri wasn’t very hopeful at all for Nigeria stating that it will be a bit difficult for the Nigerian side because they do not play as a team. He however believes that it would only be possible if the players who played at the Afrobasket won’t be the same playing at the qualifiers. He based his opinion on the fact that it seems the Nigerian players don’t have respect for the national team.
The situation, he believes unfortunately seems to be a problem that affects other African national teams.
There is a wealth of talent when it comes to players that could suit up for African countries, yet a lack of organization has plagued many in the past. “For instance, if Senegal were able to put all their good players together and build a team, they could dominate Africa for at least a decade,” Mejri said. Mejri now shifts his attention to Tunisia’s qualification for its first-ever Olympic appearance.