The sponsor of the annual Women Basketball League, Zenith Bank, has hailed Nigeria’s women national basketball team, D’Tigress, for retaining the FIBA Afrobasket Championship on Sunday in Dakar, Senegal.
D’Tigress were glorious in the final match as they defeated Senegal 60-55 in a pulsating encounter which kept spectators and fans at home on the edge for the better part of the game.
The champions opened the game outstandingly as they won the first quarter 14-10, the second 18-14 and third 16-13.
It was a shock in the last quarter as the home side erased Nigeria’s 11-point lead and also took the lead before D’Tigress rallied back to win with five points.
The Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, expressed delight over the fighting spirit of the Nigeria’s Women basketball team especially in the final.
Onyeagwu noted that it was heart-warming to see the team win all games at the continental basketball fiesta.
He said: “We congratulate the team because of the consistency displayed. It is not easy to beat a team playing at home in any final match and that was what D’Tigress did in spite of the huge fans behind the Senegalese side at the arena.
“The ladies have proved themselves as true champions of Africa and we are so proud of this. Winning the trophy back-to-back is particularly exciting.
“As sponsors of the Nigerian Women League, we believe we are part of this success story because some of the players from the league feature in the national team.”
An example of Onyeagwu’s remark is D’Tigress forward, Evelyn Akhator, who was a product of the Zenith Bank Basketball League. She emerged as one of the most outstanding players at the 2019 Afrobasket Championship.
Akhator was the biggest contributor for Nigeria as she hit 14 points. Promise Amukamara and Ezinne Kalu were the other players with double digits as they slammed 12 and 13 points respectively. In the first match against Tunisia, which Nigeria won 75-26; Akhator was also the biggest performer.
Other top national women team players that graduated from the league to the national team in recent time are Nkechi Akasiki, Nkem Akaraiwe, Upe Atosu and Chioma Udeaja.