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D’Tigress Devour Stubborn DR Congo

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The D’Tigress recorded their second win at the 2017 FIBA Women Afrobasket tournament after digging deep to defeat stubborn Democratic Republic of Congo by 84 points to 47.

Coach Sam Vincent again put faith in Ogoke Sarah, Elonu Adaora, Madu Ndidi, Akhator Evelyn and Kalu Ezinne who started against Mozambique in their first game on Friday at the Palais Des Sports arena in Bamako.

However, Nigeria got her win through the unusual suspects with Elitzur Holon of Israel star, Nyingifa Atonye Jennifer registering 13 points, four rebounds and three assists to lead the overall statistics table.

Upe Atosu scored 12points and provided two assists for the team while his Elephants Girls of Lagos counterpart, Nkeshi Akashili added 11points, one assist and three steals as she continued to push for a regular playing time in the team.

Adaora Elonu who led the team’s scoring chart in their last game against Mozambique caught five rebounds, provided four assists and scored nine points.

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D’Tigress for the second time in as many games dominated proceedings and led their opponents all through the game to eventually emerge comfortable winners.

At the end of the first quarter, Nigeria shot to a 23points to eight lead before extending it to 41 points to 30 at the end of the second quarter.

It was not a third quarter that the D’Tigress team wished for as they struggled to make the baskets despite being in possession and moving the ball around for the better part of the quarter.

At the end of the third quarter, they only managed to score just 11 points which prompted the technical crew to call on fresh hands from the bench for the fourth quarter.

The display in the last quarter was a joy to behold with spectators and handful of Nigerians present at the arena led by the Nigerian Ambassador to Mali, His Excellency, Ken Nwachukwu rising to their feet at intervals to applaud the team’s display.

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The team justified their pre-tournament hype as one of the teams to beat at the 2017 Afrobasket tournament as they put up a commanding performance to end the game at  84-47 against a side that made a return to the continental competition after more than 40 years of absence.

Speaking at the end of the game, D’Tigress point guard, Kalu Ezinne described the game as tough and an eye opener despite their display in the fourth quarter that gave them the comfortable lead.

Despite managing just seven points less than 24 hours after scoring a massive 16 points against Mozambique, Kalu who became a sensation at the 2016 Olympics qualifiers for the D’Tigress in France, is not worried as she is gratified that she played according to instructions.

“We just didn’t put a little bit of body on everybody. We really need to focus on boxing out because we are going to play bigger teams.

“So, I think as a team, we need to focus on boxing out and not allow our opposition to get the second chance shots.”

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Despite admitting the need to be more decisive against their opponents, Kalu is not worried about their chances against bigger teams.

“It doesn’t make me worry; it just shows that we definitely need to buckle down on it. We just have to take it one game at a time. We need to focus on shooting, tossing out, boxing out and focus on the second chance shots so that when we play big team we don’t have to worry about these things,” Kalu concluded.

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers Advance to 2024 BAL Playoffs

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Five Hoopers players scored in double digits with Devine Eke (18 points, 18 rebounds) and Peter Olisemeka (17 points, 19 rebounds) dominating the boards 

 Nigeria’ Rivers Hoopers beat Rwanda’s Armée Patriotique Rwandaise (APR) 78-71 in the first-ever BAL (https://BAL.NBA.com) double-overtime game and became the first Sahara Conference team to clinch a spot in the BAL Playoffs which are set to tip off at BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda on May 24.
 
Five Hoopers players scored in double digits with Devine Eke (18 points, 18 rebounds) and Peter Olisemeka (17 points, 19 rebounds) dominating the boards as well. Will Perry added 11 points and seven assists in a low scoring affair in which both teams shot less than 40 percent from the floor.    
 
Jean Jacques Nshobozwabyosenumukiza led APR with 16 points and five rebounds, while Dario Hunt finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. Going into today’s matchups, APR is currently second in the Sahara Conference and will look to secure a postseason berth when they take on Senegal’s AS Douanes (4th place with 2 wins and 3 losses) this evening.
 
In the second game of the day, the 2022 BAL champions Tunisia’s US Monastir kept their playoff hopes alive, defeating AS Douanes 75-69 and getting their second straight win in the competition. This is a turnaround for the Tunisian champions who started the Sahara Conference from three straight defeats, but now stand one win away from the postseason. Chris Crawford led Monastir with 18 points and seven assists, Oussama Marnaoui scored 16, and Firas Lahyani finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
 
Abdoulaye Harouna led the Douanes with 22 points, with Adama Diakhite adding 14 points and nine rebounds.
 
APR, AS Douanes and US Monastir will compete for the last two playoff spots when the Sahara Conference concludes this afternoon – Rivers Hoopers will take on US Monastir at 2:30 p.m. GMT and AS Douanes will face APR at 5:30 p.m. GMT.    

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Basketball Africa League (BAL).


Basketball Africa League (BAL)

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FIBA REAFFIRMS MUSA KIDA BOARD

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The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) has once again reaffirmed Musa Kida as the sole President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

This was contained in its latest letter dated 18th December and addressed to the Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympics Committee, Chief Tunde Popoola who had written to the apex world basketball governing body on the need to name the “eligible representative of the NBBF who will be at the (Nigerian Olympic Committee) (NOC) elective AGM and to vote” in Yola.

FIBA through its newly appointed Secretary General, Andreas Zaglis in their response said “FIBA has communicated with the board of Mr Kida concerning the affairs of the NBBF since July 2017 and has organized FIBA events with the same board’s assistance.”

“Besides, FIBA notes that good progress is being made in regularizing fully the NBBF-FIBA relationship, which remains an internal matter of the basketball family, since the NBBF is not suspended and enjoy full rights as a member,” FIBA continued.

FIBA explained that having earlier received a letter from the NOC recognizing the board elected on the 13th of June 2017 in Abuja and the recent memo of the Federal Ministry of Youth Sports Development revalidating Kida and his board, the international body has deemed it fit to accord the board all the necessary recognition.

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Letter from FIDA

The latest letter which finally put paid to insinuations in different quarters over who is in charge of basketball administration in Nigeria expressly named Kida who recently bagged a Doctorate Degree in Credit Management.

The letter granting Kida (or a validly nominated delegate of his) therefore nullified the earlier erroneous pronouncement of the NOC electoral committee chaired by Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima that no board had been recognized by FIBA as the legitimate basketball federation.

With FIBA’s position clearly stated on who is in charge of basketball administration in Nigeria, Engr. (Dr) Musa Kida called on all basketball stakeholders to join hands and contribute meaningfully to basketball growth.

He said despite the recent landmark achievements recorded by the board since its assumption of office, more ground could have been covered especially at the home front if not the incessant distractions.

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D’TIGRESS CAPTAIN, EVELYN AKHATOR THRILLED WITH NIGERIA SPORTS AWARD HONOURS

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D’Tigress captain, Evelyn Akhator has described her double awards at this year’s Nigerian Sports Awards as amazing.

The professional basketball athlete, who plays for the Turkish side Besiktas, stole the show by winning both the Basketball Player of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year categories at the 2018 Nigerian Sports Award held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island in Lagos on Friday.

The 2017 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) third overall pick by Dallas Wings warded off opposition from Odunayo Adekuoroye and Simidele Adeagbo to win the Sportswoman of the Year category. She also beat male basketball player, Ike Diogu and fellow teammate, Adora Elonu to clinch the Basketball Player of the Year award.

The Lagos-born basketball star was elated for winning the awards, describing her mum as a role model and thanked all her supporters who voted for her.

“Picking up the Basketball player of the year and Sportswoman of the year 2018 @ngrsportsaward was truly amazing for me. Where I am today is down to my role model, my mum who always gave me confidence to go out and conquer. I know she is looking down on me with joy. Thank you to all my supporters who voted for me,” Akhator said.

It was also a glorious night for the basketball community as the D’ Tigress crowning it all with the Team of the Year award.

The glamorous award gala saw Aruna Quadri crowned the winner of Sportsman of the Year award while Ahmed Musa emerged the football of the Year.

The seventh edition of the award saw the River State Governor, Nyesom Wike emerged winner for his unflinching commitment to sports as the Governor of the year.

The President of Badminton Federation of the Year, Mr. Francis Orbih picked up the crown for the Sports Administrator of the Year.

The Racket Sportsperson of the Year award went to ace badminton player Yemisi Olatunji and the track and field star of the year award was won by ace sprinter, Tobiloba Amusan.

The Para Sports Person of the Year award went to top para powerlifter, Commonwealth gold medalist and world record holder Esther Oyema.

For the Team Sports Person of the year, a member of the historic Bobsled team which represented Nigeria at the recently concluded winter Olympics, Seun Adigun emerged the winner.

The Wrestler of the Year went to Odunayo Adekuroye while the Nigerian Para Power-Lifting Coach, Are Feyisetan emerged winner for the Coach of the Year. The Discovery of the Year category was handed to Joy Udoh-Gabriel.

In the Journalism category, George Essien of Comfort Radio in Uyo, Akwa Ibom emerged the Radio Sports Presenter of the Year while the Journalist of the Year for Print category and Photojournalist of the Year were won by Gowon Akpodonor of the Guardian newspapers and Akeem Salau of Vanguard newspapers respectively

 

 

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