SportsD'Tigress' Comeback Victory Against France Improves World Cup Qualifying Chances

D’Tigress’ Comeback Victory Against France Improves World Cup Qualifying Chances


February 12, (THEWILL) – On Friday, after a 67-65 win over world number five France at the FIBA Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in Belgrade, Serbia, Nigeria’s female basketball team D’Tigress took a huge step towards booking a ticket for the global tournament, which will be held later this year in Australia.

Coach Otis Hughley’s side did just enough to come back from a 17-point hole in the first quarter to win and qualify for their second consecutive World Cup with one game to spare.

The D’Tigress clawed their way back into the game in the second quarter, winning 16-10 points to conclude the first half 27-38. Not satisfied with the scores, the squad put additional pressure in the third quarter, winning 21-14, before sealing the victory in the fourth quarter with another amazing 19-13 point performance.


Victoria Macaulay led the charge offensively with 19 points and four assists on the night. With 4 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 blocks, the Turkey Galatasaray centre produced some defensive effort to assist the squad earn its first ever win against France.

Oderah Chidom’s 13 points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds helped the D’Tigress avenge their losses at the 2020 Olympics and the 2018 FIBA World Cup. Also contributing to the victory were Promise Amukamara and Adaora Elonu, who each scored 10 points.

The win, according to Engr Musa Kida, President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), was the product of hard work and sustained improvement since 2017. He remarked: “We are excited about where we are and what we have been able to achieve. This is not just another result because it is a result that we are going to celebrate for a long time to come.

“We are seeing a team that learnt a lot from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2021 Afrobasket win. The growth has been steady and consistent and we are not surprised that the results have continued to bear testament to what we are trying to achieve.

“We would like to appreciate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for his fatherly support towards the team. The Minister of Youth and Sports, Chief Sunday Dare has also been solidly behind us through thick and thin.

“This victory and ticket would not have been possible without them.”

Nigeria, now in second place, will face Mali at midday tomorrow, while France will look to rebound against China. If France defeats China and D’Tigress overcome Mali, it will guarantee Nigeria a slot at the FIBA World Cup, which will take place in Australia from September 22 to October 1, 2022.


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