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Tinubu leads encomiums as Nigeria celebrates African champions, D’Tigress

By Kehinde Olatunji
07 August 2023   |   3:03 am
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the weekend led a grateful nation in showering encomium on Africa’s best women basketball team, D’Tigress, who on Saturday defeated Senegal to retain the FIBA Afrobasket Championship in Kigali, Rwanda.

Nigeria’s D’Tigress celebrate winning the AfroBasket Women title for a fourth time in a row.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the weekend led a grateful nation in showering encomium on Africa’s best women basketball team, D’Tigress, who on Saturday defeated Senegal to retain the FIBA Afrobasket Championship in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Nigerian girls beat Senegal by 84 to 74 points to win the title in four consecutive times.

Congratulating the Rena Wakama-led team, President Tinubu tweeted: “I congratulate our very own D’Tigress #tigressNG for a well-deserved fourth consecutive Afrobasket Women Championship. We are proud of you.”

Also celebrating the girls, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, through its Permanent Secretary, Ismaila Abubakar, said: “Saturday’s victory by D’Tigress is historic especially as the team waited for 12 solid years with no title to show for their efforts. D’Tigress ended the drought as they were crowned champions in 2017. ”

Meanwhile, Nigeria will host the Paris 2024 Olympic Games men’s basketball qualifiers, which will involve Senegal, Mali, Uganda, Congo Democratic Republic, Cameroun, Guinea, Tunisia, and host, Nigeria.

The teams are divided into two groups of four each with the top two teams in each group proceeding to the semifinals. An African representative will emerge between the winners of both semifinal matches.

Currently ranked the first team in Africa, the Nigerian men’s Basketball team, D’Tigers has a high chance to be Africa’s representative at Paris 2024.
According to the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), the D’Tigers will be represented by 23 players, some of whom currently play in the United States’ NBA, the world’s most rated basketball league.

Speaking ahead of the tournament, NBBF President, Ahmadu Musa Kida, reaffirmed its commitment to a successful and hitch-free tournament with high expectations of great performance from Team Nigeria.

‘‘The opportunity to host the African Olympics Qualifier is a testament to our past hosting endeavours and the confidence of FIBA Africa in the NBBF. We are proud to showcase our country Nigeria, the beauty of Lagos, horse racing today and the incredible talents of the D’Tigers to the world. We will continue to use our basketball to make Nigeria proud.”

The nine-day tourney will be broadcast live to an estimated 70 million viewers in more than 60 countries and is expected to attract more than 8,000 spectators. The tournament will also recognise icons, who have contributed to the development of basketball in Nigeria through the years, mobile shop bet including former players, and administrators.

Among the 40 teams in the pre-qualifying tournament stage, betting tips today five teams – one each from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and two from Europe – will qualify for the final Olympic qualifying tournament in 2024. The Olympic Games will be held in Paris, France from July 26 to August 11