Pillars and Customs won the tickets to play in the competition after finishing first and second in the FIBA-Africa Zone-3 qualifying round recently concluded in Togo.

And Ahmed said Pillars have already begun preparations for the competition as their intention is to improve on their previous outings.

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“We are going to the competition with the aim of being counted among the top contenders for the trophy.

“Our experience so far in the tournament is enough for us to understand the level of standard that is expected for us if we are to achieve at the end.

“Our goal is to perform better than before.

“The players are aware of this enormous task, so they have a responsibility to carry out the technical bench instruction in order to achieve success,’’ he said.

Customs also getting set

Meanwhile, Head Coach of Nigerian Customs Scot Nnaji has also said his team are gearing up for their first continental outing.

“We are working hard daily and we are aware of the task and getting ourselves ready for the big experience which is vital for the team’s mentality,’’ Nnaji told the News Agency of Nigeria.

No Nigerian side have won the elite continental basketball competition since it began in 1972.