HAMADI N’Diaye returns to the country looking to accomplish an even bigger task than the one he came for the first time the big man from Senegal came over in Manila last year.
The 7-foot N’Diaye is expected to anchor the campaign of the African country in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament that starts Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena as top star Gorgui Dieng won’t be around for the six-day meet that offers a berth to the Rio De Janeiro Summer Games.
Dieng, the team’s acknowledged go-to-guy who plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA, backed out from playing in the qualifiers at the last minute.
“Gorgui is not with us unfortunately,” said N’Diaye shortly after Team Senegal arrived in the country Saturday night. “He didn’t accompany us to this tournament.”
Being the other NBA veteran in the team, all eyes will definitely be on the former PBA import who suited up for Mahindra in last year’s season-ending Governors Cup.
Although it’s a young team, the 29-year-old N’Diaye sees the Senegalese pulling some surprise during the duration of the short tournament.
“It’s a big tournament for us. There’s a lot of excitement in the air, but we’re looking forward of trying to do big things out there for sure,” he stressed.