The Nigeria national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress have defeated Senegal to win the 2023 FIBA Women’s Afrobasket Championship for the fourth consecutive time.
The Rena Wakama- led ladies defeated the 11-time African champions 84-74 to claim their sixth championship at the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda on Saturday.
Wakama also became the first female coach to win the competition since its inception in 1966. The game was a repeat of the 2019 final and T’Digress asserted dominance winning three of the four quarters:19-10 (Q1); 24-21(Q2); and 22-17(Q4).
D’Tigress’ victory is historic as the Nigerian Ladies have become only the second team ever after Senegal to win four consecutive titles.
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.
After blowing away hosts Rwanda in the semi-final, D’Tigress had sent a message they are going for the top prize and that was what they did in Saturday’s final at the BK Arena in Kigali.
Amy Okonkwo set the tone for D’Tigress in Saturday’s final getting the team the first two points in the first quarter.
D’Tigress controlled the first quarter winning it 19-10 and still had the upper hand in the second quarter though the margin was narrower; winning it 24-21. With a 43-31 point lead at half time, D’Tigress were halfway through to achieving their target.
But as one would expect, the Senegalese Ladies came fighting back after half time and they indeed won the third quarter; 26-19 to reduce Nigeria’s lead going into the final quarter to just five points.
With all to play for in the last quarter, D’Tigress stepped up their game when it mattered most and they were able to fend off the stiff challenge from the Senegalese ladies. D’Tigress won the nervy last quarter 22-17 and effectively won the game 84-74.