RADES (AfroBasket 2015) - Olaseni 'Shane' Lawal has just delivered what his Nigeria team needed from him.
As the Nigerians saw off the Central African Republic (CAF) 88-63 in their AfroBasket 2015 opener on Wednesday, Barcelona's new signing came up with a tournament-high 14 rebounds.
That’s good enough for a team who played without their star player Ike Diogu, who sat out due to a leg injury.
Although the Nigerians rank among the frontrunners, Lawal - who is making his international debut with the country of his ancestors - feels the tournament is set to become a long way to glory.
Nigeria are still in search of their first-ever continental crown and the 28-year-old feels he has what it takes to spark his country to the title of the African championship.
Talking to FIBA.com, the Nigerian-American said: "Our expectations are to come here to win it.
"I think we have a good enough team to win. These guys have been here before they really want it badly, and I want it badly too because to represent your country is such a big thing."
After beating CAF, Nigeria will take on AfroBasket debutants Uganda as well as hosts Tunisia to conclude their Group A campaign.
Both Tunisia and Nigeria remain legitimate title contenders and Lawal knows they will need to excel to overcome the 2011 champions.
That game [against Tunisia] is going to say a lot about what is to come in the elimination round. - Lawal
"I am excited about playing Tunisia," he said.
"They are a good team, and are going to be an early test for us, moving to the elimination round."
Asked about his role on the team, Lawal pointed to what he showed against CAF and said he isn't there to do anything spectacular as they have great players.
"We don't need a superman, we just need everybody to do their job," he reasoned.
"I can plug a lot of holes as far as rebounding, finishing around the rim, playing great defense, running the floor, doing things that they need me to do, a little bit of everything."
But it is the AfroBasket 2015 title that remains at stake.
We feel we have a great chance to win. We are confident but we are humble - Lawal
And the team that wins the tournament will secure direct qualification for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
"We are very excited and we are ready," Lawal said.
"We haven't won the title yet, we can't celebrate until August 30th. We have to win every game, and take every game seriously.
"To say that you are the team that is suppose to win, it doesn't mean you win, that’s the easiest way to lose.
"We have our heads on a mission right now, one game at a time."
Nigeria face Uganda on Friday.