By John Egbokhan
Nigeria’s women national basketball side, D’Tigress will today in the 15,000 seater Dakar Arena, go up in arms against Senegal in the final of the 2019 FIFA Women’s AfroBasket Championship, with the Nigerians chasing a historic fourth title, while the hosts are bidding for a record 13th crown.
It is the second time in two years that both sides will clash in the final of Africa’s premier basketball tournament for women.
With four impressive wins under their belt against Tunisia, Cameroon, Congo Democratic Republic and Mali, it would not be a walk in the park for D’Tigress who face a Senegal side yet to lose a match so far in front of their fans
On the evidence of Friday’s semifinal tie against Mozambique, where they came back from the dead, overturning an 18 point deficit to overcome a strong Mozambique charge 60-57 to book their third straight Final, the hosts will be buzzing with self belief that they can finally stop the rampaging Nigerians from running away with a second successive title and make up for the loss to D’Tigress, in the final two years ago.
Senegal head coach, Cheikh Sarr hopes his star performers like captain Astou Traore, who slammed home 16 points, nine rebounds against Mozambique, Bintou Dieme and Sy-Diop will turn up big time against D’Tigress.
Having looked flawless so far and playing in their fifth FIBA Women’s AfroBasket Final, all eyes will be on D’Tigress star, Ezinne Kalu, who for the second match in a row, top scored with 19 points, made five assists and two rebounds to continue her impressive run, which Nigerians hope will not abate against Senegal.
Captain Adaora Elonu, Evelyn Akhator and Atonye Nyingifa who added 13, 12 and 10 points against Mali are also ready to seize their chances in today’s final, with Akhator stating that “”we are going for the title and believe that we will get’’.