Dtigress celebrate their triumph over Senegal in their semifinal clash at the 2021 Afrobasket championships. Photo Credit: @FIBA

In what was their toughest match so far at the ongoing women’s Afrobasket Championships in Yaounde, Nigeria’s D’Tigress overcame a resilient Senegalese team in the semifinal on Friday to qualify for their third consecutive final.

Nigeria did not capitulate under pressure in the 4th quarter, rather holding on strongly to defeat Senegal 73-63 points, to keep their hopes alive on a quest to complete a 3-peat championships triumph.

With that semifinal win, Nigeria will now face Mali in the final on Sunday, after the latter defeated the home team by the scruff, winning their contest by just one point in a 52-51 thriller against Cameroon.

Nigeria will be delighted avoiding another home team in the final, after enduring a torrid time against Senegal two years ago in Dakar. It was a game that drained them, with the hostile home fans making a concerted effort to throw them off their rhythm.

What has been working for D’Tigress in Yaounde, is the non-dependence on just one player to come good for the team. Against Senegal, Amy Okonkwo was by far the standout player for Nigeria, making a game-high 16pts and 7rebs. Before Okonkwo started dominating, Ify Ibekwe held the forte leading the scoring charts and eventually finishing with 14pts and 6rebs.

It took some time for Ezinne Kalu to find the bucket, and when she did, it was at a crucial stage of the game when Senegal had momentum. Kalu combined effectively with skipper Adaora Elonu who made 6 or 12pts overall in the last 3mins of the 4th quarter, taking off the sting from Senegal.

Nigeria could take pride, knowing there are buckets spread across the team, and their shooting efficiency was almost at 63% (62.96%), making 17/27 shots overall they had in the match. If they play close to what they have churned out all tournament, it’s going to take a lot from Mali to be able to stop them completing the 3-peat job.


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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