Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has congratulated Nigeria’s senior women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, for qualifying for the final of the 2021 Afrobasket women championship in Cameroon.
D’Tigress defeated their Senegalese opponents 73-63 in Friday night’s semifinal to book a place in their third consecutive finals.
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The minister commended the team for their superlative performance in the tournament and praised them for doing the nation proud.
Dare urged the team to crown what has been a remarkable tournament with victory in the final so that their status as the ‘Queens of the Court’ on the African continent can be confirmed.
D’Tigress, who are defending champions, will face Mali in the final after the Malians defeated hosts Cameroon 52-51 in the other semi-final game.
In a highly-charged semi-final encounter between two West African rivals, Nigeria continued their unbeaten run in the competition with a dominant performance.
The Nigerian ladies started the game in impressive fashion, taking the first quarter 22-11 and the second quarter 23-20 to head into the break.
On resumption, D’Tigress slowed down the game but still won 15-13 in the third quarter.
The Senegalese rallied back in the fourth quarter to take it at 19-13, but it was too little too late as Nigeria prevailed 73-63 at the sound of the final whistle.
Nigeria’s top performer, Victoria Macaulay, was outstanding with nine points, seven rebounds, three assists, four blocks and one steal.
Nigeria’s trio of Amy Okonkwo (16), Ify Ibekwe (14) and captain Adaora Elonu (12) gave Nigeria 42 points.
Senegal forward and captain Mame-Marie Sy-Diop led all players in scoring with 18 points, two rebounds, two assists and two blocks; enterprising swingman Yacine Diop and Ndeye Fatou Ndiaye contributed 14 and 11.
Nigeria is seeking to become only the second nation to win three straight AfroBasket crowns since Senegal did it in the 1970s. (NAN)