Nigeria's D'Tigress fought hard not to give up their lead against Ivory Coast. Photo Credit: @FIBA

Nigeria have qualified for their 3rd consecutive semifinals at the Afrobasket women’s Championships, beating Ivory Coast 72-56 in their quarterfinal match in Yaoundé to book their passage into the last four.

D’Tigress had a healthy 24pts lead going into the 4th quarter, but some dodgy calls in the 4th quarter almost let Ivory Coast come back in the match, reducing the deficit to just 13pts with over four minutes left to play.

However, the much experienced Nigerian team devised a means to circumvent a comeback, finding the bucket with back to back outside shots from Promise Amukamara and Ezinne Kalu, which further stretched their lead and took the sting off Ivory Coast.

Nigeria came into the game against Ivory Coast as the overwhelming favourites, and they underlined why they had the tag, setting their stalls early with an early 24-8 lead after the first quarter. Outshooting the Ivorians 19-13 in the 2nd quarter, the Nigerian ladies went into the break leading by as much 22points.

What has been working for D’Tigress at this championship, is the ability to find buckets from many members of the team, without relying solely on one player. Although Kalu led the way with a Game-high 17pts and 6asts, players like Amy Okonkwo stepped up with double digits as well.

Okonkwo made 14pts and chipped in with 3rebs. Victoria Macaulay (13pts and 7rebs), and Amukamara (11pts and 5asts) were the other players who hit double figures for Nigeria, and it’s been an efficient team display from D’Tigress since this championship started.

Nigeria will now play the winner of the tie between Senegal and Mozambique on Friday, hoping to make it a third consecutive appearance in the final of an Afrobasket championship.

Athletics coverage was a discovery, having to move away from regularly writing about Football. Although it was initially daunting, but now being an authority in it makes the past effort worthwhile. From travelling on the same international flight with Nigerian athletes, to knowing you could easily interview: World Record holder Tobi Amusan, then Ese Brume, I have cut my teeth in this beat earning the trust of Athletics sources. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at Ringier media Nigeria, Chris is a Senior Sports writer, Photographer & Community manager at Making of Champions.


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