Evelyn Akhator hopeful Nigeria will beat Guinea today
D’Tigresses super star, Evelyn Akhator is confident of another world-class act against Guinea as the 2017 FIBA Women Afrobasket tournament hots up in Mali.
Akhator, who plays as a forward/centre and currently in the books of Dallas Wings in the Women National Basketball Association (WNBA), said despite an impressive outing so far in the competition, she has not fully reached her full potential.
The influential player, who started her campaign against Mozambique with 13 points and 6 rebounds before hitting seven points and catching nine rebounds against DR Congo, climaxed on Sunday against Egypt with 24 points, five assists and 13 rebounds.
Speaking after her effort ensured Nigeria became the first team to qualify for the quarter finals, Akhator said, “I am just having fun. One thing about basketball is that you just have to have fun to be at your best and that is what I have been doing.”
Despite recording a double-double against Egypt, the number three pick in the 2017 WNBA draft is not carried away by her performances so far at the competition as she is fully focused on the games ahead.
“I don’t care about the scores, we just play every opposition at a time and that is what I have been doing and I think it’s been working not just for me but also for the team.”
She expressed satisfaction with the team’s display after a good outing, which saw them blowing out their Egyptian opposition with a 106 points to 72 win. She said opponents, who underrated them due to their size, have continued to regret it.
Speaking about the team’s chances of winning the tournament and booking an automatic ticket to the 2018 FIBA World cup, Akhator said the team is not getting ahead of themselves with two more group games to play.
According to Akhator, if the team is to stand a reasonable chance of winning the tournament, they need to focus more on their transition defence and offence.
“I think we are going to learn from our mistakes and get better. Every game is a learning experience for us. Against Egypt, we noticed we needed to take care of the ball more, we needed to reduce our turnovers and that was exactly what we did.”
The game will take place at 11:45 am (local time) today.
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