D’Tigress stop Cote d’Ivoire, hit semifinals
Nigeria’s women senior basketball team, D’Tigress snatched a semifinal ticket at the ongoing of 2017 FIBA Afrobasket Women championship yesterday in Bamako, Mali after blowing out Cote d’Ivoire in the quarterfinal stage 98 to 43 points.
The team, captained by Turkey-based Aisha Mohammed had it easy as they dominated and won all the four quarters against the Ivoriens who struggled to cope with the superior tactical approach of the Sam Vincent-led team.
A breakdown of the game saw the team leading at the end of every quarter with 23-13, 46-15, 71-32 and 98-43, which means the D’Tigress will face hosts Mali in the semifinal.
Akhator Evelyn continued her 5 star performance at the competition as she powered the team to a confortable quarterfinal victory with 21points, 2 assists and 11 rebounds.
Evelyn who lived up to the pre-match hype never disappointed, providing the platform for her team’s win, as she continues to push for the Most Valuable Player of the tournament in her first Afrobasket campaign.
D’Tigress co-captain, Kalu Ezinne, put up another impeccable show contributing 17points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds on a wet Friday afternoon at the Palais Des Sports Salamatou, Maiga, Bamako.
Elephant Girls Basketball Club of Lagos 3 points specialist, Nkechi Akashili recorded a 60 percent conversion ratio from the 3points line as she successfully made 3 out of 5 attempts on her way to contributing 13points for her team.
Atosu Upe weighed in with 12points and 4 assists to secure a semi final ticket.Speaking after the game, Sam Vincent praised her girls for improving on their last game against Senegal.
“I thought we recovered a little bit more from the Senegal game in terms of getting our fast breaks going, pushing the ball a little bit higher and finishing well under the basket which we struggled to do against Senegal.
“I thought our defence was more aggressive. In the game against Senegal, we were down a little bit against the physical players, but we recovered to play a lot better.”
Despite not reaching the 100point mark, Vincent said a win is a win irrespective of the final result of the game, which has seen them book a date in the semi finals.
“I am excited about today’s defence, we have only been together for just six games, yet it’s a team that is really competitive which shows how good they are and tomorrow will be a good test against Mali.”
Ahead of the semi finals against Mali/Egypt, the coach acknowledged that the game is going to be tough against a bigger and experienced Malian side.For the team to stand a good chance of proceeding to the finals and book an automatic 2018 FIBA World cup ticket, Vincent said: “We know we have to come out, have an exceptional game and really defend the post very well and we have to get out and run.”
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