*On the way to a third African title
*Buhari sends warm greetings to D’Tigress
D’Tigress of Nigeria moved a step closer to actualise a third Afrobasket title ambition and a World cup ticket as they booked a quarter-finals ticket at the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket competition going on in Bamako, Mali with another resounding win against Egypt.
The team recorded a new team record with a 106 points to 72 pummelling of the North African side to become the first country to book passage to the next round after their third group game played on Sunday.
Evelyn Akhator shone like a million star as she provided the needed platform on which the team built their victory.
The Dallas Wings player scored 24 points, 5 assists and another impressive 13 rebounds against a more physically imposing Egyptian side.
Ever dependable Ezinne also stepped up her display to record 18 points, 3 assists and 5 rebounds during her 24:08 minutes’ stint on the court.
Nyingifa Atonye continued her resurgence after a sloppy opening game registering 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 15 points.
A breakdown of the four quarters saw the Sam Vincent-led team ending the first quarter with a 20-15 points lead before scoring 30 more points in the second quarter against their opponents who could only manage 14 more points.
The team extended their lead to 79-49 at the end of the third quarter before hitting the 100 point mark as they emerged with a personal competition record of 106.
Reacting at the post match press conference, Akhator described the D’Tigress team as a young side with the ability to dominate offensively and defensively which according to her is a plus.
On her performance, she said, “I just came out to play and try to get better every other day. I think me getting used to the plays and the court and getting the trust from my teammates really helped me”.
The team will observe Monday as a rest day before facing Guinea on Tuesday in their fourth group game.
Dalung delivers President’s Buhari’s message: Youth and Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has sent President Muammadu Buhari’s warm greetings to the national team.
He praised the senior women’s national basketball team, the D’Tigress, for their outstanding performance so far at the FIBA Women’s Afrobasket 2017 currently holding in Bamako, Mali.
D’Tigress thrashed their counterparts from Egypt by 106 points to 72 in the third game of their Group B fixture to become the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Earlier in their opening game, Nigeria out dunked Mozambique by 80 points to 69 and outclassed Democratic Republic of Congo 84-47.
Dalung expressed happiness with the team’s performance so far in the Afrobasket and urged them to get to the finals and win the trophy.
“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari sends his warm greetings to you as you know he just arrived from medical vacation yesterday.
“On behalf of sports loving Nigerians, I bring you goodwill and best wishes from Nigeria. We have been following your progress in the Afrobasket 2017. We are highly impressed by the victories recorded in your three consecutive games.
“The Federal Government will stand by you to ensure that you get all the support needed to bring back the Afrobasket trophy.”
He urged them to maintain their focus ahead of the last two games in the group stages and seize the opportunity to perfect their plans heading into the quarter finals.
The Minister prayed for an incident and injury free Afrobasket campaign while reiterating the need to remain focused and determined in their quest to win their third title.
“Continue to play as a unit and in love like one family and by God’s grace, you’ll achieve success in your outing in Mali.”