President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with the national female basketball team, D’Tigress, for winning back-to-back the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2019 championship in Dakar, Senegal.

The Nigerian ladies beat hosts Senegal in a tightly contested match 60-55. It was Nigeria’s fourth African title.

To clinch the championship, the Nigerians registered a perfect five game unbeaten run at the biennial competition.

An elated President Buhari commended the team for a highly impressive outing that saw them coasting home to victory at the finals.

Buhari congratulated the team for the remarkably synergized play that enabled them to outpace and outplay all the teams at the tournament to retain the title they won in 2017, further consolidating their position as African champions with four titles.

The President commended the team for discipline, maturity and focus all through the tournament, and deliberateness in promoting the Nigerian flag and accompanying virtues of resilience, persistence and dogged pursuit until victory was achieved.

President Buhari thanked all the officials and technical hands that guided the team to win the African title, urging them to remain focused in deploying such energy and talent in subsequent global tournaments.

How they won:FIBA’s report

Otis Hughley Jr and his side ensured that Nigeria become only the second team to defend their title having won it in 2003 and defended it at home in Abuja in 2005.

Nigeria started the game on top of the proceedings and led both the first and second quarters to enter the half time break with a 32-24 lead and even though Senegal made a strong comeback in the third quarter to tie the game at 54-up with 2:24 to play in the last quarter, D’Tigress dug deep to eventually win the coveted trophy.

“We have been here before. We prepared ourselves as though every game would be like this. It is just that the previous games did not give us live training outside of playing ourselves so when that came, we had already been programmed. It is entrenched in our DNA to be ready for a tight game, make smart decisions and take care of the ball and that is what we did,” explained Hughley Jr.

Evelyn Akhator scored 14 points and made nine rebounds and her amazing performance throughout the tournament earned her a place in the Tournament Five.

Her teammate Ezinne Kalu will smile her way back home after being named the undisputed TISSOT MVP as she joined Akhator in the Tournament Five.

Astou Traore stood out for Senegal with 13 points and six rebounds to earn her place in the Tournament Five deservedly so.

Earlier in the day, Mali saw off Mozambique 66-54 to win bronze for the second edition in a row much to the distress of the southern Africans who put in a good shift this tournament.

Touty Gandega, who inspired Mali with 12 points and six assists, earned her way to the Tournament Five for guiding her side to the podium.

On the other hand, Leia Dongue scored a game high 22 points and five rebounds but her efforts were not enough to help Mozambique win a medal at this tournament.

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