D’Tigress walk tall despite heavy defeat to USA

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Stop me if you can…a USA player seems to tell her Nigerian challenger yesterday during their quarterfinal game at the 2018 FIBA World Championship, which ended in favour of the Americans

Nigeria’s female basketball team, D’Tigress, were inflicted a heavy defeat of 71-40 by World No 1, USA, in their quarterfinal game at the on-going FIBA World Championship in Spain yesterday, but the Nigerians bowed out with their heads high.

Last Tuesday, D’Tigress set a new record by becoming the first African team to win two World Cup games back to back, after edging out No 5th ranked Argentina by 75-70 points in their last Group match. They had also beaten 17th ranked Turkey 74-68.

Their record breaking streak continued on Thursday, when the Nigerians became the first African country to qualify for the quarterfinals of any FIBA women’s World Cup after defeating No 9th ranked Greece by 57-56.

However, the victory song came to an end yesterday, as the Americans shown why they are number 1 in the world, inflicting a 71-40 defeat on D’Tigress, their biggest margin in the championship.Against all odds, D’Tigress took the first quarter 17-9 as they come out of the blocks as fast as possible. And three minutes into the second quarter, D’Tigress were still leading 20-13.

The USA had struggled against African opposition, Senegal, in their opener group match.Like a wounded lion, the USA came in the second quarter with intensity, straight two points back to back, as they regained the lead 18-6 to lead 27-23 going into the half time break.

The Americans began to fight back, narrowing the gap as the match approached halftime. But the D’Tigress managed to hold on to their 25-23 lead, with a minute to go. From that moment, the ladies were separated from the girls, as the Americans took perfect control of the game in the third quarter, which ended 46-35.

It eventually became a one-way traffic as the Americans pick points after points. The gap continued to widen, as it eventually ended 71-40. The defeat notwithstanding, Nigeria’s D’Tigress will go down in history as an underrated 34th placed African Nigerian team which came to a FIBA Women’s World Cup and ‘nullified’ all world rankings made by FIBA.USA had defeated Senegal 87-67, beat China 100-88, thrashed Latvia 102-76 before their 71-40 victory over Nigeria.