African Champions, the D’Tigress took a giant step towards qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with an impressive win over Mozambique in Belgrade, Serbia.
The back-to-back African Champions expectedly, were favorites on the day but the game began slowly for them as they lost the first quarter by a point in what was a tight opening 10 minutes. But in the end, they made it count winning 85-51.
D’Tigress grew into the game opening a 13 point lead at half-time as Mozambique had no answer to Nigeria’s intensity. The back to back African Champions continued to stamp their authority on the game, increasing their lead by the minute as it became a 25 point game in the 3rd quarter and eventually ended as a 34 point game in favour of Nigeria.
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Three players finished with double figures but it was Promise Amukamara who earned the title of the top performer on the day. Amukamura finished with 14 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals in 22 minutes 24 seconds, while Ezinne Kalu ended the game with 11 points and team Captain Adaora Elonu contributed 10 points.
Elizabeth Balogun who is a new member of the squad had a debut to remember in Nigeria colours finishing the game with 9 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds and 3 steals in 16 minutes 25 seconds.
This win puts Nigeria in a comfortable position in the race to pick up one of the two available tickets in the group.
A win against hosts, Serbia on Saturday will undoubtedly deliver the Olympic games ticket. Also, a second loss for Mozambique against USA also means that D’Tigress will be in Tokyo.
Either way, the African Champions have down themselves a whole world of good in terms of Olympic qualification with this convincing win over Mozambique.
Photo Credit: FIBA