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Afrobasket 2017: D’Tigress are Africa’s numero uno

*Three time winners:2003, 2005, 2017

Nigeria’s senior national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, broke a 12-year jinx to become the new African champions defeating the former champion, Senegal, in the final of the championship in Mali, for the second time in the tourney. The Senegalese lost 65-48 to their west African neighbours.

DTigress of Nigeria...new African champions
D’Tigress of Nigeria…new African champions

The Nigerians have picked a ticket for the 2018 FIBA World Cup in Spain after beating Mali in the semi-final.

D’Tigress have been outstanding right from their first game against Mozambique and they kept hope and the momentum as they battled the Senegalese.

Nigeria are unbeaten throughout. When they took on Senegal in the final on Sunday, it was a fierce battle for the African crown at the Palais des Sports Salamatou Maiga.

This is a repeat of the 2005 final when Nigeria defeated the Lionesses 64-57 for their second African title in Abuja but there is a new rivalry between the two sides as D’Tigress defeated Senegal in their last group match by 58-54 to top Group B. The squeezed the Senegalese for the second time to win the diadem.

Nigeria got their third title after bursting onto the scene to win two back-to-back titles in 2003 in Mozambique and at home in Abuja two years later.

Senegalese fans waiting for victory before it was snatched by the superior Nigerians
Senegalese fans waiting for victory before it was snatched by the superior Nigerians

D’Tigress, as the Nigerian side is commonly known, is a side chasing a legacy and with a new-look youthful side, they have been unstoppable at the continental competition.

Ahead of the 25th edition final on Sunday, Senegal had won 12 titles and played in 16 finals, a record held by no other side in African women’s basketball.

D’Tigress have already beaten the likes of Mozambique, Egypt, Senegal, Congo and Mali.

The tournament’s ranking ended thus:

3rd: Mali

4th: Mozambique

5th: Cote d’Ivoire

6th: Angola

7th: Egypt

8th: Cameroon

9th: Democratic Republic of Congo

10th: Guinea

11th: Tunisia

12th: Central African Republic

Senegal had the lead 18-12 in the first quarter. The Nigerian won the second 21-10 while the third quarter went the Nigerians’ way 15-7 and the Nigerians took the lead 17-13 in the fourth quarter of the game.

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