D’Tigress have qualified for the 2022 FIBA Women World Cup to be hosted later in the year after a 67-65 point win against world number five, France.
The team led by Coach Otis Hughley did just enough to rally back from a 17pt deficit in the first quarter to snatch a win and book their second consecutive world cup outing with a game to spare.
Second quarter saw a more purposeful and dominant D’Tigress crawl their way back into the game with a 16-10pts win to close the first half 27-38. Not comfortable with the scores, the team applied more pressure to win the third quarter 21-14 before another impressive 19-13pts finish in the 4th quarter to seal the win.
An ecstatic President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Engr Musa Kida described the win as a result of hard work and steady growth since 2017.
“We are excited about where we are and what we have been able to achieve. This is not just another result because it is a result that we are going to celebrate for a long time to come”.
“We are seeing a team that learnt a lot from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2021 Afrobasket win. The growth has been steady and consistent and we are not surprised that the results have continued to bear testament to what we are trying to achieve”.
Victoria Macaulay shouldered the scoring burden on the night with 19 points while contributing 4 assists. The Galatasaray of Turkey centre also did some work defensively with 4 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 blocks to help the team secure its first ever win against France.
“We will like to appreciate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for his fatherly support towards the team. The Minister of Youth and Sports, Chief Sunday Dare has also been solidly behind us through thick and thin”.
“This victory and ticket would not have been possible without them”.
The French girls will not forget Oderah Chidom in a hurry after contributing 13pts, 5assts and 6rebs to avenge the 2020 Olympics and 2018 FIBA World Cup defeats.
Promise Amukamara and Adaora Elonu added 10pts each to seal a victory for the team.
Second placed Nigeria will face Mali at noon tomorrow while France will hope to bounce back when they meet China.