D’Tigress Overpowers Senegal To Retain 2019 Afrobasket Title
By Amaechi Agbo
The Nigeria women national basketball team, D’Tigress have Sunday emerged overpowered rivals and hosts, Senegal in a keenly contested final to retain the 2019 Women FIBA Afrobasket Championships in Dakar, Senegal, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
In a keenly-contested final match played on Sunday at the magnificent Dakar Arena which had as much as 15, 000 fans watching, the Nigeria women beat host Senegal 60-55 to win back-to-back continental titles.
D’Tigress edged hosts Senegal 60-55 points in the final to retain the title they won in 2017 and their fourth overall.
D’Tigress began the enthralling encounter on a bright note winning the first quarter 14-10 points; second quarter 18-14 points and third quarter 18-13 points.
But the Senegalese fought back in the fourth quarter 18-12 points but it was a little too late as the D’Tigress coasted home to victory.
As in previous Senegal games over the past few days, there was a deafening atmosphere at Dakar Arena but D’Tigress held their own. NAN also reports that with Sunday’s feat, D’Tigress became the first team to win back-to-back FIBA Women’s AfroBasket titles since Angola followed up their 2011 triumph with another in 2013. To make it to the final, Nigeria eased past Mali, 79-58, in Friday’s first semi-final.
Hosts Senegal needed to work extra hard to overcome a fearless and determined Mozambique team, 60-57, to return to the championship title game for the third time in a row. Both Nigeria and Senegal have emerged as the best teams from the 12-team tournament and it came as no surprise that each reached the final after four wins in as many games.
After losing to Nigeria two years ago – not once but twice in Bamako – 12-time African champions Senegal were hoping to become the first team to win the tournament at home since the D’Tigress claimed the 2005 continental in Abuja.
Evelyn Akhator, D’tigress centre, posted 14 points 9 rebounds 1 assist and 2 steals to emerge top performer for Nigeria while Marie Diop earned 12 points 5 rebounds 1 assist and 1 steal for Senegal.
By lifting the trophy, the D’Tigress have thus qualified for the 2020 Olympics, became the second team to successfully defend the title after Angola, continued her unbeaten run in the championship dated back to 2015 now extended to 13 matches and played two consecutive finals with Senegal after their 2017 clash.
With D’Tigress successfully completing their mission, attention will now shift to the male team, D’Tigers who are expected to compete at the FIBA World Cup in China later this month. The FIBA World is scheduled to hold from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15.