Nigeria’s D’Tigress have defeated Senegal in the final of the 2023 women’s Afrobasket championship.
The Rena Wakama-led ladies defeated the Senegalese 84-74 at the BK Arena, Kigali, Rwanda, on Saturday. The victory makes Nigeria only the second African country ever to win the women’s Afrobasket title four times in a row.
Wakama also became the first female coach to win the competition since its inception in 1966. On Thursday, the Nigerians whitewashed Rwanda, the hosts, 79-48 in the semi-final to book a place in the finale.
The coach maintained the starting five of the previous game; Amy Okonkwo, Palla Kunaiyi-Akpanah, Elizabeth Balogun, Sarah Ogoke and Blessing Ejiofor.
The game against Senegalese was a rematch of the final of the 2019 Women’s Afrobasket and the semi-final of the 2021 edition — Nigeria won on both occasions
D’Tigress never looked like faltering from the history lane and quickly established a 19-10 lead in the first quarter. The Nigerians increased the lead with more intensity in the second quarter and were ahead by 43-31 by halftime.
The Senegalese returned from the break rejuvenated, and they clawed back the lead to 62-57 at the end of the third quarter.
The final quarter was fiercely contested, but D’Tigress dug in to secure a 10-point
victory to etch their name in African basketball history. Only Senegal, who won the biennial competition uninterruptedly from 1974 to 1981, have achieved a four-peat in the history of Women’s Afrobasket. D’Tigress won the last three editions of the Women’s Afrobasket and remain unbeaten in every African competition.
The team won the 2017 trophy in Bamako and claimed the second title in Dakar, Senegal, in 2019, before completing the three-peat in Cameroon in 2021.