2017 Women’s AfroBasket: Sam Vincent up against old foes Mali as Nigeria book Semis spot

2017 Women’s AfroBasket: Sam Vincent up against old foes Mali as Nigeria book Semis spot

D’Tigress snatched a semi final ticket at the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket Women championship after defeating Cote d’Ivoire 98 – 43 points on Friday at the Palais des Sports Salamatou Maïga.

D’Tigress blitzed past their opponents dominating from teh first to the fourth quarter 23-13, 46-15, 71-32 and 98-43 .

Ivory Coast struggled to cope with the superior tactical approach of the Sam Vincent led team.

Advancing to a fifth semi final appearance, Nigeria will next play Mali, who defeated Egypt 90-50 points.

D’Tigress Guard, Akhator Evelyn continued her 5 star performance at the competition powering the team to a competition record 6-0 as she tipped the leaders board with 21 points, 2 assists and 11 rebounds.

Evelyn who lived up to the pre-match hype never disappointed, providing the platform for her team’s win as she continues to push for the Most Valuable Player of the tournament in her first Afrobasket campaign.

D’Tigress co-captain, Kalu Ezinne put up another impeccable show contributing 17 points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds on a wet Friday afternoon at the Palais des Sports Salamatou Maïga in Bamako.

Nkechi Akashili recorded a 60% conversion ratio from the 3points line as she successfully made 3 out of 5 attempts on her way to contributing 13points for her team.

Also, Atosu Upe weighed in with 12points and 4 assists to secure a semi final ticket.

Speaking after the game, Sam Vincent praised her girls for improving on their last game against Senegal.

“I thought we recovered a little bit more from the Senegal game in terms of getting our fast breaks going, pushing the ball a little bit higher and finishing well under the basket which we struggled to do against Senegal.

“I thought our defence was more aggressive. In the game against Senegal, we were down a little bit against the physical players, but we recovered to play a lot better.”

Despite not reaching the 100-point mark, Vincent said “a win is a win” irrespective of the final result of the game which has seen them book a date with Mali at the semi finals.

“I am excited about today’s defence, we have only been together for just six games, yet it’s a team that is really competitive which shows how good they are and tomorrow will be a good test against Mali.”

Ahead of the semi finals against Mali the coach acknowledged that the game is going to be tough against a bigger and experienced Malien side.

For the team to stand a good chance of proceeding to the finals and book an automatic 2018 FIBA World cup ticket, Vincent said, “We know we have to come out, have an exceptional game and really defend the post very well and we have to get out and run.”

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