Nigeria’s senior women’s national team, D’Tigress, on Friday night began their campaign at the 2017 Afrobasket Championships on a winning note.
The team, tutored by Coach Sam Vincent, recorded an emphatic 80 points to 69 points win over familiar foes, Mozambique, on Friday.
Coach Vincent, who is on a second stint with D’Tigress, approached the opening game in a business-like fashion as he opted to start with Ogoke Sarah, Elonu Adaora, Madu Ndidi, Akhator Evelyn and Kalu Ezinne in his quest to make a statement at the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket tournament.
This immediately paid off as Evelyn who currently plies her trade in the Women National Basketball Association (WNBA) with Dallas Wings opened her account with two points after she was fouled inside the paint in the early seconds of the game.
It was a case of a dominant Nigerian team led by Adaora with 17 points and 7 rebounds bringing their experience to bear against the girls from Mozambique who were finding it difficult to cope with how well the D’Tigress were moving the ball around.
Despite the duo of Dongue Leia scoring 19 points with 5 rebounds and Cossa Anabela weighing in with 13 points, D’Tigress trio of Ogoke with 11 points, Akhator with 13 points and Ezinne with 16, all weighed in with double digits to ease the work load on Adaora on their way to record their first win of the tournament.
With a total of 7 rebounds, team captain, Aisha Mohammed led the rebound table and closely followed by Adaora and Akhator with 6 rebounds each.
Speaking at the post match press conference, Vincent said it was important and good for the team’s psyche to win their first game of the tournament irrespective of the margin.
He said: “I think for our first game, it’s good to get the win. I don’t particularly think we played all that well. We are not really a big team, so we gave up a lot of rebounds, they scored pretty easy on the inside but I thought the second half, we fought a little bit harder, did a little bit better on the boards and we were able to make some shots on the outside.”
Senegal 105 – 39 Guinea
Democratic Republic Of Congo 72 – 99 Egypt
Cote d’Ivoire 104 – 57 Central Africa Republic
Angola 78 – 56 Cameroon
Mali 86 – 48 Tunisia
Mozambique 69 – 80 Nigeria