D’Tigress, Nigeria’s female basketball team made history at the ongoing FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain as they stunned Turkey 74-68 in the Group B game decided on Sunday in Tenerife. It was Nigeria’s first-ever FIBA Women’s World Cup victory and the first time the female team would defeat any European opponent.
With the victory, the Nigerian side, nicknamed D’Tigress, put themselves in a strong position to finish second in Group B
Sarah Ogoke shot the highest point for Nigeria, as her with 22 points helped propel D’Tigress against their formidable counterparts. Evelyn Akhator also impressed with a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Turkey struggled for much of the game, as Isil Alben contributed 15 points, while Esra Ural Topuz suffered a knee injury.
An elated Ogoke told reporters after the match: “It was great. I have played for a while with the National Team and I felt as though I personally had a point to prove. “We finally got an opportunity to show what we can do with this historic win against Turkey,” she said.
Coach of D’Tigress, Otis Hughley praised the team’s courage against a respected Turkish side: “Turkey have been through a lot to build that programme and for us to sneak a little shortcut like that… “I was praying almost on my knees as we’re so inexperienced and young. We came through a lot of adversity and mistakes and were still able to fight off a couple of runs. We even held on with some poise”.
Senegal, another country representing Africa at the tournament, also recorded their first-ever victory against Latvia to make it a memorable night for Africa.
Nigeria’s final group game will be against Argentina, on Tuesday who are yet to record a victory.