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2023 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket: D’Tigress down hosts to reach final

Nigeria’s D’Tigress booked their place in their fourth successive final at the 2023 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket in Rwanda by spanking the hosts 79-48 in their semifinal clash in Kigali.

After wins over Congo DR and Egypt in the group phase and Mozambique in the quarterfinals, coach Rena Wakama and her girls faced the prospect of playing the hosts in front of a raucous home crowd for a place in the final. With both nations having met twice before and the Nigerians winning both times, history was on D’Tigress side heading into the encounter.

D’Tigress went at the Rwandans from tip-off, dominating on the floor and denying them scoring opportunities in the game. They held the hosts to only six points in a dominant first quarter, ending the quarter with a 22-6 lead. They continued their impressive showing in the second quarter while allowing double the total points from their opponents, and finished the half in possession of an unassailable 44-18 lead.

The hosts were no pushovers, and they showed just that in the third quarter as they scored one shy of their entire points total in the the first half, reducing D’Tigress lead to 58-35. The Nigerian team took it upon themselves to stretch their advantage in the fourth quarter and dispel any doubts that may have been forming, and ended the game with a 79-48 scoreline.

Amy Okonkwo continued with her stunning performance for D’Tigress, recording 23 points, ten rebounds and two assists, with Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah scoring ten points and nine rebounds and Tomi Taiwo scoring 12 points.

D’Tigress will now face bitter rivals Senegal in a repeat of the 2019 final on Saturday.


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