Nigeria’s campaign in the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament will get underway, Thursday, with D’Tigress aiming to reach the Summer Games for the first time ever.
The Hughley-Otis Jr. tutored side are on a 13-game winning streak against African teams, the record they take into their opening game against Mozambique at the Aleksandar Nikolić Hall in Belgrade.
Victory over Mozambique will edge Nigeria closer to a place in Tokyo, but captain of D’Tigress Adaora Elonu says the Southern Africa Country could be the team’s trickiest test.
‘Mozambique know us, having played against us a lot,’ Elonu told brila.net.
‘They could just prove to be the tricky team and banana skin.’
The last competitive meeting between the teams was a 80-69 victory for Nigeria in 2017 as the Ladies steamrolled to the first of back to back AfroBasket titles.
That test in Belgrade will set the tone for the rest of the competition with both Serbia and the USA lined up next in the group.
‘I think it’s going to be very difficult because of what’s at stake. It will be difficult playing in Serbia against the USA, they know us. Playing Serbia in Serbia is definitely going to be hard. But we need to prepare for all of them,’ the D’Tigress captain reflects on the task ahead.
Elonu’s leadership in the team has had some great impact on team spirit and provided the type of leadership needed.
That leadership resonates and it quite visible on the floor in game situations with Ezinne Kalu, Aisha Mohammed-Balarabe and co.
As a unit they have been unstoppable, blowing past opponents and effectively establishing the team as the biggest and most competitive on the continent.
Testament to that is the team’s impressive run at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain, where they reached the quarter-final.
Recalling her best memories Elonu said, ‘The last Afrobasket was really amazing for me. The last two editions, we have had probably the same core and the Federation had us together, it was really amazing.’
If you use the quotes from this content, you legally agree to give www.brila.net the News credit as the source and a backlink to our story. Copyright 2020 Brila Media.