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Buhari, Dalung congratulate D’Tigress over victory


Solomon Dalung, Minister of Youth and Sport.

President Muhammadu Buhari, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung and the official sponsor of the Nigerian Women Basketball League, Zenith Bank yesterday congratulated D’Tigress of Nigeria over their victory at the just-concluded Mali 2017 Afrobasket Championship.

D’Tigress on Sunday defeated Senegal by 65 points to 48 to win Nigeria’s third FIBA Afrobasket Championship.Reacting to the feat, President Buhari in a statement joined other sports-loving Nigerians in saluting the heroic performance of the D’Tigress. He commended the players for displaying uncommon strength, confidence, skill and dexterity in their victory over the defending champions.  
President Buhari urged members of the team and their handlers to remain focused and dedicated even as they prepare for greater glory to Nigeria at the forthcoming FIBA World Cup.

According to the statement signed by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari also assured the team, their managers and the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) of his support and that of the Federal Government to ensure that they excel against other top competitors in Spain.

Also commending the team, Dalung attributed the recent successes recorded in basketball and wrestling to the ongoing sports reforms by the ministry. “We congratulate D’Tigress, the technical crew and the entire management of the Nigeria Basketball Federation for winning the 2017 FIBA Women’s Afrobasket trophy. You not only broke a 12-year-old draught but also won a ticket to the World Cup next year. This cannot be ascribed to luck but weeks of hard work, planning and strategizing by the board, technical crew and the players. We also applaud the wrestlers for winning a silver at the World championship.”

The Minister stated that having started the due process of electing popular and passionate candidates into boards of various federations, Nigeria’s sports would be better for it.

The minister’s statement disclosed that the Ministry of Youth and Sports will officially receive the victorious D’Tigress in Abuja at 3.00 p.m. today.

Zenith Bank Plc, which are the sponsors of the National Women League, through their Group Managing Director, Peter Amangbo, described D’Tigress feat as: “a sweet victory for the Nigeria,” adding,  “as sponsors of the national women league, Zenith Bank is a major stakeholder in the sport and we are happy with the feat achieved by D’Tigress.

“We salute the hard work and determination of the players and officials of the team especially because they won all their matches in the competition.”

The Zenith Bank boss, however, paid special tribute to the three home-based players, who made the trip to Mali for the competition. They are Nkechi Akashili, Chioma Udeaja and Upe Atosu.

“Let me also congratulate the three worthy ambassadors of the Zenith Women Basketball League- Akashili, Udeaja and Atosu- who joined national camp just after the final of the Final Eight in Lagos.

“We are particularly proud of the home-based players invited for the competition, out of which three eventually made the team. This is good for our investment in basketball over the years and we are encouraged to do more.”

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