Nigeria women’s national basketball team, D’Tigress lost their opening game of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018 to Australia, Sunday. Australia, ranked number 4 in the world saw off Nigeria, who are ranked 30 places below them 86-68 at the San Cristobal de La Laguna, Santiago Martin Arena in Tenerife, Spain.

Both sides met for the first time and it was the women from Oceania who came out victorious.

The first quarter ended 24-18 in favour of the Australians who dominated proceedings and with the help of WNBA All Star Liz Cambage were able to get into the perimeter easily.

The second quarter was a little tight as D’Tigress narrowly lost 18-14 going into the half time break.

D’Tigress turned the game on its head to win the third quarter 23-21 restricting the Australian team after the break.

The fourth quarter ended 23-14 in favour of Australia as D’Tigress lost momentum.

Top performers for D’Tigress were Power forward Evelyn Akhator who registered 21 points and Ezinne Kalu with 18 points.

The players put in a decent shift against an Australian side that narrowly lost to the United States of America in the final of the 2014 edition.

‘We need to come back strong for Turkey’ – Evelyn

D'Tigress forward, Akhator | Top Media Nigeria

Speaking after the game, Evelyn explains: “We fought but then we just gave up a little in the last 5 minutes of the game. We shot ourselves in the foot. Liz Cambage is a monster – she really is a beast. Overall, we just need to learn and come back really strong for the next FIBA Women World Cup game against Turkey.”

Otis Hughley’s team are drawn in Group B of the competition alongside Turkey, Argentina and Saturday’s opponent, Australia.

The African champions next game comes up tomorrow (Sunday) against Turkey. They will then end their group stage contest against Argentina on Tuesday.

 

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