Belgium Beat D’Tigress 78-61 In Final Game
After suffering a 100-46 heavy defeat to world champions, the US, on Friday, Nigeria women’s national basketball team, D’Tigress, lost their final game of the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament to Belgium on Sunday, he said .
The reigning European champions defeated the African champions 78-61 in their final match of the qualifiers in Antwerp.
Rena Wakama started with the quintet Elizabeth Balogun, Blessing Ejiofor, Pallas Kunaiyi Akpanah, Promise Amukamara and Amy Okonkwo.
The hosts proved why they are the European champions as they asserted their dominance from the start, securing a commanding lead in the first quarter, ending it 22-11.
The second quarter saw a more balanced exchange, with both teams evenly matched at 18-18. However, Belgium maintained their advantage, heading into halftime with a 40-29 lead over the Africans.
D’Tigress showed resilience in the third quarter, staging a comeback with eight consecutive points, narrowing the deficit to five.
Yet, their momentum faltered as Belgium responded with an onslaught of 15 unanswered points, widening the gap even further. The third quarter concluded with Belgium leading 63-48.
In the final quarter, D’Tigress fought hard, outscoring Belgium 19-15, but it was not enough to overturn the game’s outcome.
Elizabeth Balogun led the scoring for D’Tigress with 17 points, accompanied by five rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Amy Okonkwo contributed 16 points, six rebounds, and two steals, while Pellas Kunaiyi-Akpanah added 12 points, nine rebounds, and one assist.
Despite defeats to the U.S and Belgium, D’Tigress had already secured their spot in the Olympics.
Nigeria defeated Senegal 72-65 in their first game of the tournament, which gave the team a massive advantage over their West African neighbours.
This is the third time D’Tigress will qualify for the Olympic Games, having also competed at the Athens 2004 and Tokyo 2020 editions of the tournament.
The 2024 Olympics is billed for July 26–August 11 in Paris.
Punch News/Jamiu Ogunshe