D’Tigress battle Senegal in 2023 Women’s Afrobasket final

D'Tigress defeat Rwanda 79-48 to book final spot at 2023 Women's Afrobasket
D'Tigress recorded a hard-fought victory against Mozambique in the quarterfinals, and now after defeating Rwanda advanced to the semifinals.

Nigeria’s senior women’s basketball team, D’Tigress has advanced to the final of the 2023 Women’s Afrobasket tournament.

D’Tigress defeated hosts Rwanda by a score of 79-48 at the BK Arena, Kigali. The five-time champions will on Saturday play against Senegal who defeated Mali 75-65,

D’Tigress had won a hard-fought quarterfinal match against Mozambique the day before to get to the semifinals.

Unlike their previous game, D’Tigress got off to a fast start, outscoring their opponents 22-6 to grab a 14-point lead. They extended their lead to 24 points at the halftime break with a 22-12 margin in the second quarter.

With a 17-14 score in the third quarter, Rwanda made a strong comeback, closing the margin to 21 but Rena Wakama, the newly appointed Head Coach of the D’Tigress, made tactical changes as the team won the fourth quarter 21-13 to finish with a 31-point margin.

Oluwayemisi Taiwo who has been impressive so far in this tournament within 17 minutes had 12 points, two rebounds, and two assists while making four of her eight three-point shots.

Also, Amy Okonkwo, who came off the bench, was also brilliant in the victory, hitting key shots to put the Rwandans in a confused state.

She had 23 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, one block, and two assists in 34 minutes while shooting 8 of 13 from the field and 5 of 8 from three-point range.

Speaking after the game, D’Tigress center Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah said, “I feel relieved honored. The team that won two years ago was a phenomenal team.

“But I think this team as well can fill those shoes. Under the leadership of coach Rena, we are in a good spot to repeat that win.”

Newly appointed D’Tigress Head Coach Rena Wakama added, “There’s no secret. But they should be empowered. I believed in them.

“And I put a lot of confidence. And here we are doing amazing things. Teamwork and confidence in them, and we see the results.”

It will be recalled that the D’Tigress had recorded a 69-35 against the Democratic Republic of Congo in the opening game of the 2023 Women’s Afro Basketball Championship on July 28.

Two days later, recorded an 83-65 win against a tough Egypt side at the BK Arena to earn a quarter-final clash with Mozambique.

On Wednesday, D’Tigress who are the defending champions recorded a hard-fought 59-52 victory against Mozambique which earned them the semi-finals clash with the hosts, Rwanda.

D’Tigress have triumphed in five continental championships, including the last three women’s AfroBasket competitions.

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