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FIBA Women’s World Cup: D ‘Tigress ready to shock U.S.



FIBA Women’s World Cup: D ‘Tigress ready to shock U.S.

    …hail NBBF


Nigeria’s D’ Tigress will today (Friday) take on the defending champions of the FIBA Women World Cup, the United States, in one of the quarterfinal matches in Tenerife, Spain.
The Nigerian ladies are still in the euphoria of reaching the quarterfinals of the World Cup, the first African side to do so but they have put celebration on the ice as they look forward to shocking the biggest team in the world today.
The Coach Otis Hughley’s lasses are riding high on confidence after winning their last three matches; the African champions came back from an opening day loss to Australia to defeat Turkey in their second group game.
They followed that up with a victory over Argentina to finish second in the group; they had to face Greece for a qualification into the quarterfinal. They sealed the last eight spot with a nervy 57-56 win over the Europeans to set up today’s tie with the world champions.
Evelyn Akhator led the way with her third double-double of the competition scoring 14 points and 13 rebounds in that famous win and alongside the likes of Ezinne Kalu who had had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists and Atonye Nyigifa they will be looking forward to causing yet another upset.
D’Tigress coach is a United States citizen and his deep knowledge of the opponents could work in Nigeria’s advantage.
He hasn’t hidden his determination to hurt the country of his birth today, declaring that his wards are ready for the big showdown.
“Without sounding too confident, we are well prepared for this championship. We respect all the teams in attendance but we are not afraid of meeting them including the defending champions, the United States,” Hughley said.
Nyingifa said the team’s ultimate target having qualified for the quarter finals was to be crowned world champions.
“That is our focus and that is what we are driving at. It just seems that for the past two years, our team has had great momentum which can be traced to the federation’s determination to see Nigeria do things right and rule the world.
“As long as we play together, stick together and do what we know to be our identity, I have no doubt in my mind that we are going for the gold,” she said
The forward who is not unaware of the threat posed by the world number one in their quest to win the coveted trophy said “We are going to expect them to come out playing hard and setting out with their best foot.
“They have a lot of height, speed on their team, they are a great team and they are projected to make it to the championships but I think we are going to go out there and give our best”, Atonye said.
Akhator said “Nobody thought we would make it this far except for the President who said that Nigeria can shock the world. Whoever God wants to win will win no matter the level of opposition.”
Having defeated Turkey, Argentina and Greece who are all ranked in the top 20 in the world, Akhator is not perturbed playing against USA.
“It does not matter who we are facing. They will try to defend their title but I really don’t care. We have come this far and we are not looking back,”

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