AS a student-athlete, Ola Adeogun is required to have a good night’s sleep to, among other reasons, make it to practice early next morning.
That means the San Beda star slotman from Nigeria, a country in a continent where football is a religion, has been unable to watch the ongoing Fifa World Cup, which is telecast in the Philippines in the wee hours of the morning.
But that doesn’t hinder him from rooting for his country, which is participating in football’s showpiece event.
“I need to take care of my body, so I just watch the replays (in the morning),” the 22-year-old Adeogun said in a chat with Spin.ph after the Red Lions’ opening-day NCAA win against Jose Rizal University last Saturday.
And Adeogun has been impressed with the showing of Nigeria, which made it past the group stage for the first time in three editions.
Ranked 45th in the world, Nigera nipped Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1-0, held Iran to a scoreless draw, and gave Argentina a scare before surrendering a close 2-3 loss to the world’s fifth-ranked squad in Group F to qualify for the Round of 16.
The squad thus emerged one of the two remaining squads from Africa still in the hunt, setting up a knockout stage skirmish against France on Tuesday, a match Adeogun will surely again miss watching live.
But the affable cager is hoping to watch a replay of an upset against the European squad, ranked 17th in the world.
“People don’t expect us to have a chance against them, but we’ve upset big teams before and the way we played against Argentina gives me confidence,” Adeogun said. “I didn’t know we could play Argentina like that.”
“And I think France is an easier team than Argentina,” the third-year center added.
But it seems the chances of the Red Lions capturing a fifth straight crown or Adeogun winning the league MVP this year are way better than Nigeria advancing to the quarterfinals, let alone win the World Cup.