30th September, 2011
Nigeriaâ€™s senior women national team, Dâ€™Tigress will this afternoon in Bamako, Mali, take on their Mozambiquecan counterparts in one of the four quarter final matches billed in the ongoing Womenâ€™s 2011 Afrobasket.
The Ayo Bakare led-Dâ€™Tigress will be taking on familiar opponents having played the same team at the just concluded All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique to win a bronze medal at the Games.
Nigeria had relied on their defensive playing style to get to this stage having won four and lost two matches so far at the tourney.
On Wednesday , the Rashidat Sadiq captained Dâ€™Tigress had to rally back from losing the first quarter before winning the rest of the three quartres in their 59-49 points victory against Rwanda. This result gave the Nigerian girls the opportunity to finish third in their group, behind championship favourites, Angola and Senegal, who came first and second respectively.
Nigeria’s guard, Joyce Ekworomadu led the Nigeria side with 10 points and 6 rebounds, home girl and reigning Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF)’s Most Valuable Player, First Deepwater Basketball Club’s guard, Nkechi Akashili, recorded 10 points and 4 rebounds, while Rosalyn Onwude completed the Nigeria charge to a quarter finals ticket with 10 points.
Mozambique on their part set the highest points scored at the tourney as they out-dunked another West African nation,Ghana, by 106-37 points to book their place in the quarters.
Commenting ahead of their match against Mozambique today, coach of Dâ€™Tigress, Ayo Bakare said: â€œWe are not going to rely on the strength that we beat them recently and go to sleep, we â€˜ll go into the match with all determination and focus.
“The match against Mozambique at the All Africa Games was tough and I can tell you todayâ€™s match is not going to be an exception.â€
The other quarter final pairings are DR Congo who take on the defending champions, Senegal, Cameroun will slug it out with another high flying team at the tourney, Mali, while Cote Dâ€™Ivoire will play Angola for a place in the semi final.
The eventual winners of the championship will represent Africa at the 2012 London Olympics.