Nigeria’s senior women’s national basketball team, the D’Tigress late Thursday night (early Friday morning in Nigeria) suffered a setback in their quest to qualify for the 2022 FIBA Women Basketball World Cup qualifiers in Sydney, Australia.
The Nigerian ladies were defeated by their Chinese opponents 90 to 76 points in the first group B game in the qualification stages.
D’Tigress went down in the first quarter 29 to 14 points and then 25 to 22 in the second quarter.
The Asians won by 25 to 16 points in the third quarter but in the fourth and final quarter, the Nigerian women had the upper hand, taking the quarter by 24 to 11 which was a tad late to recover from the earlier results.
Pallas Kunayi-Akpanah was the stand-out performer for D’Tigress, hitting 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals.
Despite the defeat, the newly re-elected factional president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF Engr Musa Kida said the women will pick a ticket for the World Cup.
Kida who was returned as NBBF President inna factional Congress in Being Edo State last month said the Tigress have what it takes to pick the ticket from the group, that also include France and another Africa representative, Mali.
His view is also shared by the Vice President of the NBBF Babatunde Ogunade. He explained that the team was hurriedly put together but will get better with every game.
Ogunade, stressed that all the teams in group B are very formidable but D’Tigress will navigate their way to Sydney, Australia come September for the finals.
Before meeting their West African neighbours on Sunday, D’Tigress have a date to keep with France on Friday for their second group B outing.