Reigning 2019 FIBA women’s Afrobasket champions on Monday night landed at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos to rapturous welcome by top echelons of the Nigeria Basketball Federation and other top sports enthusiasts
D’Tigress head coach Otis Hughley is excited to see the team retain their title at the 2019 FIBA Women’s Afrobasket Championship in Senegal.
The Nigerian Ladies secured a hard fought 60-55 win in the final against the hosts at the Dakar Arena on Sunday night .
“We played a World Cup team at home. They (Senegal) sensed the moment, through experience & confidence, and our girls were able to match that. I am so excited,” Hughley said after the game.
Most Valuable Player of the competition, Ezinne Kalu, cannot hide her excitement after the D’Tigress edged out the hosts in front of 15,000 vociferous fans.
Kalu, a guard, who plays for Rutronik Stars Keltern in Germany also believes that the team is destined for the top.
“To do something like that (retaining the title) was just amazing for all of us as a group. Whether it’s the World Cup, whether it’s the Afrobasket or the Olympics, we are in for great things. This is just the beginning for us,” the 27-year-old who was born in New Jersey to Nigerian parents told reporters after the game.
The Hughley’s D’Tigress, with the win, extended their head to head record over Senegal to 6-4 in 10 meetings. They also defeated the same opponent in the final two years ago.
It was also the second time the D’Tigress won the continental title back to back after first recording the feat at the 2003 and 2005 editions.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated the national female basketball team, D’Tigress, for a highly impressive outing at the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2019 in Dakar, Senegal, winning the hosts at the final by 60-55.
President Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja late Sunday night, congratulated the team for the remarkably synergized play.
The president observed that this had enabled them to outpace and outplay all the teams at the tournament to retain the title they won in 2017, further consolidating their position as African champions with four titles.
He commended the team for ”discipline, maturity and focus all through the tournament, and deliberateness in promoting the Nigerian flag and accompanying virtues of resilience, persistence and dogged pursuit until victory was achieved.”