Nigeria’s D’Tigress emerged as the champions of Africa for a fourth successive edition of the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket after an 84-74 win over rivals Senegal in the final in Kigali.
Having come through tests from Congo DR, Egypt, Mozambique and Rwanda, D’Tigress were up against 12-time champions and fellow West Africans Senegal in the final looking to emulate the Senegalese, who were the only side to win the competition four times in a row.
Nigeria started the game well, setting the tone with a couple of early baskets and putting up a good defense. They ended the first quarter with a 19-10 lead over their Senegalese opponents. The second quarter was much closer as the Senegalese ladies grew into the game, but D’Tigress managed to extend their lead to 43-31 by the end of the first half.
The third quarter saw Senegal try to bamboozle the Nigerian ladies, coming in hot from the start and cutting the lead to 62-57 by the end of the third quarter. D’Tigress asserted themselves in the fourth quarter, showing their quality and experience to overcome their opponents 84-74 and secure the win.
Ifunaya Okoro scored 16 points, Amy Okonkwo scored 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists, and Murjanatu Musa finished with ten points and 12 rebounds for D’Tigress.
D’Tigress coach Rena Wakama became the first woman to lead a team to victory in the AfroBasket, making history as a result. The Nigerians won their sixth overall title and fourth in a row, in Rwanda.
D’Tigress and Senegal will play in the Olympics qualifiers next year ahead of the Paris Games.