The D’Tigress of Nigeria put up a brave fight in their 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup opener, loss to Australia by 68-86 points. Their next opponent Turkey match is more or less a familiar foe, at least they know what to expect.
Semi finalist in the last FIBA World Cup which they hosted and finished 4th, Turkey have their eyes set on a podium finish in Spain in just their 2nd World Cup campaign.
The 7th ranked team in the world comfortably strolled past Argentina 63-37 in their opening game. But should expect an even tougher proposition against the African Champions.
HEAD TO HEAD
Nigeria and Turkey have never met in an official FIBA competition but are familiar foes in preparatory games. The D’Tigress have lost all 3 encounters. Twice in preparatory games enroute the 2016 Rio Olympic qualifying tournament in France and most recently last week’s match up enroute Tenerife where Nigeria lost 51- 89 in Istanbul.
KEYS TO WIN
Inside Scoring: Evelyn Akhator put up a show against the Opals despite the size disadvantage. Aisha Mohammed, Adaora Elonu, Elo Edeferioka and Ezinne Kalu’s penetration will be key, clearly that is Nigeria’s strongest offensive weapon. However, D’Tigress will need to shoot better than 14% from behind the arc, Nkechi Akashili might need to be activated to help Sarah Ogoke and Promise Amukamara in order to give the D’Tigress a double threat inside-outside to be a constant threat.
3points scoring: Turkey is not a high volume shooting team from 3point land but pulled of an efficient 35.3% from behind the arc against Argentina. All thanks to their efficient ball movement which Nigeria will have to be wary of.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Nigeria: Evelyn Ahkator, Ezinne Kalu
Turkey: Tilbe Senyurek, Bahar Cagla
Turkey win narrowly
Written by Femi Adefeso. Twitter: @IncredibleFemi