Nigeria’s national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress fought gallantly on Friday but lost their quarter final match to hosts, Mozambique 74-77 points despite winning three out of the four quarters played at the Pavilhao do Maxaquene in Maputo at the on-going 2013 Afrobasket.
The Scott Nnaji-tutored side led 72-64 in the last quarter but the hosts fought back to close the lead at 72-69 points with less than a minute to go. But the Nigerian ladies lost concentration and allowed Mozambique to overpower them and take the match at 77-74.
President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, Tijanni Umar who spoke on phone from Maputo last night praised the team for their performance which took the hosts by surprise and kept their fans on their toes throughout the encounter, adding, “the loss was unfortunate as our girls lost to bad luck.”
Continuing, the NBBF boss said, “If our girls had prepared the way the Angolans and Mozambicans prepared, no team would have beaten them in this tournament. We had almost won the game before the host had the three pointer in the last minute and the clock just ticked away. I must praise them for playing the game of their lives.”
He stressed that “I have always said that preparation for competitions should be early and thorough. We will go back and plan the way forward. We should have proper way of funding so as to be able to decide when to start campng our teams for competitions.”
The team will today meet west African neighbours, Cote d’Ivoire who also lost their game 48-62 points against Cameroon in a classification match.
In the other matches also decided yesterday, Cape Verde beat Algeria 65-45, Kenya beat Zimbabwe 63-52 while championship favourites Angola outdunked Egypt 84-49.