How Nigeria Demolished Mali To Win 3rd Consecutive Afrobasket Championship
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By Agency Report
Nigeria female national basketball team, the D’tigress Sunday defeated Mali to grab a record equaling 3rd consecutive title in the FIBA Afrobasket Championship in Cameroon.
The D’Tigress whitewashed the Malian Queens 70-59 at the Yaounde Multipurpose Sports Complex on Sunday in an exciting final of the 26th edition of the Women’s Afrobasket.
The Malians, out in search of their second title in the competition and first since their 2007 historic triumph, displayed pure interest and mastery of the basketball art.
But star lady Amy Okonkwo and mates including Captain Adaora Elonu, the very determined, ambitious and creative Victoria Macaulay and Elizabeth Balogun motivated by their will to equal Senegal’s record set some 40 years ago, put up a spirit fight, leading their fellow West Africans 17-11 points at the early stages of the game.
Coach Otis Hughley’s ladies went further to accumulate a series of points later on in the first segment to impose a 6 points gab, 31-24 lead at half time on a bright Sunday evening on the Cameroonian capital city beaming with excitingly fresh souvenirs of the Lionesses’ Bronze medal achievement.
The Nigerians consolidated the same spirit in the second half and managed to contain the Malian Queens to emerge victorious against the ladies from Bamako.
One record equaled, another consolidated
Sunday’s win by the D Tigress entailed Nigeria equaled Senegal’s record of three consecutive titles in the women’s Afrobasket.
A record that has remain unbeaten for over four decades since the Senegalese Lionesses’ incredible achievement in the 70s when the team won three titles in 1974, 1977 and 1979 in Tunis, Dakar , and Mogadishu respectively.
Mali on their side confirmed their status as basketball powerhouse on the continent.
The team finishing second maintained their feat of ending the competition at least ranked among the top 5 nations, a record the Malian Queens have held tied to since the year 2000 when the side last finished below the first five, ranking 9th during the 15th edition of the championship.
Both Nigeria and Mali will represent Africa in one of the qualification tournaments to the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Sydney, Australia next year.