By Goodluck Ikiebe
As the 2023 AfroBasket, FIBA Women’s Competition in Kigali, Rwanda, hots up, the Nigerian Government has called on the D’Tigress to ensure they maintain the lead even as they trounced Egypt 83 points to 65 in their second Group D match on Sunday.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, who gave the charge today in his congratulatory message commended them for their excellent performance since the beginning of the tournament.
Alhaji Ismaila informed that Sports loving Nigerians are glued to the competition, especially following the performance of its athletes in all championships in recent times.
*”As a nation, we want to remind you that we are following and monitoring your exceptional performances on all the events our athletes are participating in.
So far, you are doing great. We are proud of you and we want you to go all out, fully determined to maintain the lead and raise our nation’s flag high by recording podium finishes. We are solidly behind you. We commend you for making the country proud. Continue to maintain the lead”* he noted.
Ismaila also commended the Ministry’s officials, the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and the Technical Crew for their doggedness in ensuring the realization of goverment’s sporting initiatives, policies and programmes for the betterment of our teeming youth.
The Permanent Secretary reassured that the Ministry will continue to deploy all necessary administrative measures to ensure the development of the athletes in line with the policy thrust of the Federal Government so as to provide them with the opportunity to exhibit and showcase their sporting talents across the globe.
He expressed optimism that with the commitment and skills displayed since the beginning of the event by Team Nigeria, the country is sure to clinch the Trophy.
Alhaji Ismaila therefore called on all Nigerians both at home and abroad to pray for the nation’s athletes to ensure podium finishes in all their competitions.
Team Nigeria started their Game with a win against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Against Egypt, Nigeria won the first and second quarters, by scores of 10–18 and 13–24, while Egypt won the third quarter 19–14. D’Tigress won the fourth quarter 23–27 to end the game.
By this, the Nigerian senior women’s Basketball team, D’Tigress, is through to the quarterfinal stage of the 2023 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket tournament holding in Kigali, Rwanda.
This is the third consecutive victory for Nigeria over Egypt, having also beaten the North Africans in 2015 and 2017. D’Tigress has so far won five continental championships, which include the last three women’s AfroBasket competitions.