ABUJA (2016 Rio Olympics) - Nigeria's attempt to secure automatic qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics ended in the AfroBasket Women 2015 Semi-Finals after conceding a 71-70 defeat to hosts Cameroon.
The pair played pivotal roles in helping their team take the last step on the podium in Yaounde, thanks to a 65-55 victory over 2013 African champions Angola in the Third-Place Game.
And, as result, they earned the right to participate in next year's FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) taking place from 13-19 June. The event will offer 12 teams a second chance to battle for the five remaining places available for the Olympics.
Nigeria as well as AfroBasket Women 2015's runners-up Cameroon should represent Africa in the WOQT, which also is set to include France, Spain, Belarus, Turkey, Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela, New Zealand, China and Korea.
As winners of AfroBasket Women 2015, Senegal clinched the only automatic place available for African teams for the Rio Games.
Nigeria last played in the Olympics back in 2004, and not a single player in the team's current squad has experienced the Olympics before.
But, for Sanni, who averaged 6.9 points per game in Cameroon, it is all about remaining positive.
"We just hope we can get there [WOQT], and somehow get to the Olympics. Our faith is still there," she told FIBA.com.
"Our hopes right now is that of a road to redemption, hopefully that qualification get us there. It doesn't matter how we get there as long as we do."
For Ogunjimi, who had the second highest three-point shooting percentage (48.6 percent) at AfroBasket Women 2015, the Rio Games are not that far from the team's capabilities.
"I believe it is possible," she said.
"We have to [qualify for the Olympics]."
Ogunjimi, who turns 31 later this month, feels that teams such as Belarus, Spain and France are tough to beat.
If we come out and play the way we have been playing and continue to have team chemistry and bonding, we know we want to get to the Olympics. - Ogunjimi
Finishing in the top five of the WOQT is all Scott Nnaji's team needs to do in order to become the second African team at the 2016 Rio Games.
"For a lot of us it will be our last hurrah for basketball and playing for the national team. So we are going to use that energy and that momentum to push us through so we can get there, so we can be with the guys too."
Umar Tijjani, the Chairman of the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF), backs the players' optimism, pledging to do everything in the institution's power to make their Olympic dream come true.
"We have an opportunity to expose the girls early in the year and then give them a decent and legitimate chance to qualify as one of the five teams from the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Nothing is impossible," he said.
"My hope is when the team goes, they repeat what the men's team did in 2012 [at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament to book a place for the London Olympics].
"Hopefully the girls will understand what the mission is all about, and, hopefully the federation will do the right things."