Nigeria’s D’Tigress Defeats Senegal To WIN Historic 4th Consecutive Afrobasket Title.

Nigeria’s female basketball team, D’Tigress defeats Senegal to win the 2023 FIBA Women’s Afrobasket Championship for the fourth consecutive time.

The game against Senegalese was a rematch of the final of the 2019 Women’s Afrobasket and the semi-final of the 2021 edition — Nigeria won on both occasions.

Having managed to defeat Mozambique 59-52 in the quarter-finals, D’Tigress advanced into the final of the 2023 AfroBasket following a 79-48 demolision of host nation, Rwanda in the semi-final on Thursday.

Coach Rena Wakama tutored side who have continually shut down critics from their first game against Congo DR, the coach, maintained the starting five of the previous game; Amy Okonkwo, Palla Kunaiyi-Akpanah, Elizabeth Balogun, Sarah Ogoke and Blessing Ejiofor.

The D’Tigress made a good start in the keenly contested encounter and won the first quarter with a nine-point lead (19-10).

Rena Wakama’s side led 12 points (43-31) going into the half time break.

READ MORE: History Makers: Three African Teams Advance To The Round of 16 Of The FIFA Women's World Cup For The First-Time Ever.

The 11-time African champions Senegal fought back in the third quarter out-shooting Nigeria 26-19.

They cut down the lead to five points (62-57).

The D’Tigress prevailed 84-74 at the end of a thrilling fourth quarter at the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, claiming their sixth championship.

The Lionesses have now lost to the D’Tigress in four Afrosbasket finals (2005, 2017, 2019, and 2023).

Nigeria’s Amy Okonkwo who finished the final with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists, was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the final.

 The win on Saturday means D’Tigress have now extended their unbeaten run to 24 games and have crowned it clinching the biennial competition for a fourth consecutive time, a feat that only the Senegalese boast of in African basketball history, winning it uninterruptedly from 1974 to 1981.

READ MORE: History Makers: Three African Teams Advance To The Round of 16 Of The FIFA Women's World Cup For The First-Time Ever.

After waiting for 12 solid years with no title to show for their efforts, D’Tigress ended the drought as they were crowned champions in 2017.

The ladies team then followed up with victories in 2019, 2021 and now 2023 in amazing fashion.

The last time Nigeria lost a game in the Women’s Afrobasket was in 2015 against Cameroon in the semi-finals.

For newly appointed Nigerian Head Coach, Rena Wakama, she takes her place in history, becoming the first woman to lead a team to the Afrobasket title.

The 31-year-old was hired as the Head Coach of Nigeria's Women's National Basketball Team, D'Tigress on June 30, 2023.

She went into the 2023 Afrobasket Women tournament as  the only female head coach.  

D’Tigress will now compete for a spot at the women’s basketball event of the 2024 Olympics.

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