Nigeria’s senior women’s basketball team, D’Tigress are inching closer to a third consecutive Afrobasket title with their qualification for the semi-finals at the ongoing 2021 FIBA women’s Afrobasket in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The Nigerians early yesterday defeated Ivory Coast 72-56 in the quarter-finals to achieve the feat for the third consecutive time.
Nigeria qualified for the quarter-finals after finishing top of group B with wins over Mozambique and Angola and then maintained their high-flying form against the Ivorians.
Otis Hughley, the D’Tigress coach, named a starting five of Adaora Elonu, Oderah Chidom, Ezinne Kalu, Victoria Macaulay, and Ify Ibekwe for the game, and the girls quickly made their ruthless intent known by establishing a 14-0 lead in the first five minutes.
The Ivorians struggled to keep the Nigerians at bay and lost the first quarter 24-8. D’Tigress picked the second quarter from where they stopped, added another 19 points, and finished halftime with a 43-21 lead.
Nigeria then opened a massive 24-point lead in the third quarter, but a little bluntness in the last quarter saw the Ivorians began closing the gap.
D’Tigress snapped out of their blues to finish the game 72-56 to advance into the competition’s semi-finals. Kalu-led the Nigerians with 17 points, followed by Amy Okonkwo, who netted 13 points, and Macaulay with 11.
Nigeria will face the winner of the second quarter-final game between Senegal and Mozambique in the semi-finals billed for Friday.