By Bamidele Boluwaji:
Nigeria’s senior national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, began the 2017 FIBA African Women’s Basketball Championship holding in Bamako, Mali with a commendable victory over Mozambique as the team led by American coach Sam Vincent defeated their opponents 80-69 points late Friday night, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The 2003 and 2005 champions dominated the four quarters to record their first victory in the tournament also serving as qualifier for next year’s World Cup in Spain.
Nigeria led the first quarter with 21-19 and second quarter with 20-13 to end the first half with 41-32 points.
The second half however proved a bit difficult for the Nigerians as the Mozambicans held D’Tigress to 13-13 after five minutes in the third quarter but the Aisha Mohammed captained side doubled their efforts to ensure they continued their lead in the game. The effort was good enough to see them leading the period again with 18-16 points to end the third quarter with 59-48 points.
The victory earned the Nigerian ladies two points in the preliminary round of the African women’s basketball showpiece while Mozambique picked one point from the game.
The Mozambicans ensured they forced D’Tigress to 21-21 points in the last quarter to end the game 80-69 points in favour of Nigeria.
D’Tigress’ Adaora Elonu contributed 17 points, seven assists and seven rebounds to the victory.
Meanwhile, in other games played in Group B where D’Tigress are competing, Senegal defeated Guinea 105-39 as Egypt gained the upper hand against Democratic Republic of Congo with 99-72 points victory.
Nigeria will face Democratic Republic of Congo in their second game of the FIBA Africa Women’s Championship on Saturday.