Nigeria women’s national basketball team D’Tigress defeated hosts Mozambique 57-48 in the FIBA Africa pre-Olympics qualifiers as they take a giant step towards a place in the Olympics Qualifying Tournament (OQT) next year.
The reigning African champions dominated the first half 21-8, 17-11 and although they stepped off the gas a bit in the second half, they did enough to get the win required to top Group A and will now face Mali in the semifinals on Sunday.
D’Tigress’ top performer was captain Adaora Elonu who had 12 points, 1 assist and 9 rebounds.
Ezinne Kalu and Evelyn Akhator scored 12 points apiece with Akhator also leading the team in rebounds with a total of 12 boards.
Head Coach, Otis Hughley said the game against Mozambique allowed the team the opportunity of playing as a unit since their Afrobasket win in Senegal earlier in the year and reiterated the team’s resolve to be at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“We are focused on the bigger picture of picking the Olympics ticket which is the ultimate target for us as a team,” Otis said.
The American promised a different game against Mali in the semifinals saying there would be no easing up in either half as was witnessed against Mozambique.