Nigeria’s D’ Tigress have begun their campaign in the 2017 Afro Basketball Championship in Bamako with two wins against Mozambique and DR Congo.
Newslegend.com.ng’s editor IZUCHUKWU OKOSI (for Completesportsnigeria.com) goes down memory lane to recall Nigeria’s previous appearances and how D’ Tigress fared in the matches they played.
Tunisia 1974: 5th Position
Nigeria’s first appearance at the Afro Basketball Women Championship was in 1974 when Tunisia hosted the continent.
Pooled with Egypt, Guinea and Togo in Group B, D’ Tigress placed 5th in the overall standings when the curtains fell on December 31.
In Nigeria’s first group game, they defeated Guinea 70-53, lost the second match 73-49 against Egypt and lost again to Togo in their last group match 42-40.
In the 5-8th round classification game on December 30, the Nigerian side defeated Guinea 59-47 and overcame Central African Republic 60-30 to confirm their fifth place finish.
Senegal 1981: 7th Position
After missing the 1977 and 1979 Championships, Nigeria returned in the 7th edition of the FIBA Africa Basketball Championship for Women in Senegal in 1981.
Nigeria faced Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal in the group stages. They lost 104-55 to the host country; lost 78-53 to Mali and were then defeated 66-54 by the Ivorians. In the 7th place match on September 11, Nigeria won the contest against Algeria by 53-32.
Kenya 1997: 3rd Position
Nigeria’s first medal finish at the Africa Basketball Championship came in 1997 where they won bronze. Senegal and DR Congo won gold and silver respectively.
Nigeria campaigned in Group B and were pooled with Tanzania, DR Congo and Angola. D’ Tigress mauled Tanzania 115-29 in their first game but lost 68-57 to DR Congo.
The Nigerian girls however recovered from the setback to pip Angola 80-77 in their last group game.
In the semi-final match, Senegal defeated Nigeria 74-56. The Nigerian women claimed the bronze medal on December 20 with a 90-62 win against hosts Kenya in the third place match.
Mozambique 2003: Champions
D’ Tigers won the competition for the first time in 2003 in Mozambique. The team were in Group B with Senegal, Mali, DR Congo and Algeria.
Nigeria defeated Senegal 63-55 in their first game on December 19, got the better of DR Congo three days by 69-55 and rounded off their group commitments with a 75-42 win a day before Christmas.
On Boxing Day (December 26, 2003), D’ Tigers coached by Sam Vincent defeated Angola 64-61 in the semifinals of the competition. They capped off a wonderful campaign in the final two days later by defeating Mozambique 69-63.
Nigeria 2005: Champions
Nigeria hosted the next edition of the Championship and retained the crown they won two years earlier.
Mfon Udoka was the star of the Nigerian team as she won the Most Valueable Player award with 15.5 points from the team’s 75.7 overall points.
D’ Tigers were in Group A with Mali, Senegal, Cape Verde and Togo. The Nigerian girls destroyed Cape Verde 96-38 in their first game on December 21. A day later, Nigeria lost 65-55 to Senegal while they defeated a poor Togolese side 92-23 before beating Mali 69-44 on Boxing day, December 26.
DR Congo were next to lose to Nigeria on December 27, the final result 78-66 then were crowned champions for the second time in the history of the Championship on December 28 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Abuja National Stadium with a 64-57 win over Senegal.
Senegal 2007: 5th Position
Nigeria returned to the competition in 2007 as defending champions but sadly ended the competition in fifth place.
Nigeria were in Group B with Angola, Cameroon, DR Congo, Kenya and Cape Verde.
Their first game was against Cameroon which they won 61=35. Angola handed Nigeria a defeat in their second game 53-42.
They bounced back to beat DR Congo 69-56. Cape Verde and Kenya lost 75-64 and 73-60 respectively.
Nigeria defeated DR Congo 72-61 in the 5-8thplace game and claimed 5th place with a 63-50 win against Cameroon.
Madagascar 2009: 5th Position
Nigeria were one of the teams that campaigned in the 2009 FIBA Africa Championship for Women in Madagascar.
The team were in Group B of the Championship and were 5th at the end of the Championship in Antanarivo.
They lost 41-37 in their first game but defeated Rwanda 79-49 in the second outing. The third game was also a success as they defeated Tunisia 65-49. Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria 44-41 in their next game which was quite closely fought.
Unfortunately Nigeria lost again, this time to 60-45 in their next group game. The quarterfinals match was an 89-45 defeat against Senegal. D’ Tigers won the 5-8th tie against Cameroon. The team were victorious in the 5th place Classification match with a 76-57 win over Mozambique.
Mali 2011: 4th Position
The Championship moved to Mali in 2011 and Nigeria made an appearance in Bamako.
Nigeria again campaigned in Group B of the competition where they had Cameroon, Senegal, Angola, Rwanda and Guinea.
They lost 86-62 to Senegal, then won their next match against Guinea by 60-31. The Nigerians defeated Cameroon 68-60 in the next game, but lost to Angola 67-60 two days later. Their last group game was a 59-49 win versus Rwanda. Nigeria lost 71-6 2 in the third place match.
Mozambique 2013: 6th Position
Nigeria placed 6th at the end of the 2013 Championship. In the group stages they lost 60-46 to Angola, defeat Kenya 74-49, lost to Mali 78-45, defeated Cape Verde 60-55 and lost 71-65 to Cameroon.
In the quarterfinals stage, Nigeria lost to Mozambique 77-74, In the 5-8th place semifinals, Nigeria Ivory Coast 62-53but lost the fifth place final game 57-50 to Mali.
Cameroon 2015: 3rd Position
Nigeria claimed the bronze medal at the 2015 Championship in Cameroon. Playing in Group B, Nigeria started with a 57-51 loss to Angola, Egypt were next and Nigeria triumphed 97-68.
Guinea were defeated 100-47 in the next group game while Senegal tasted Nigeria’s might by losing 75-64. 79-49 was the next result in the Nigeria versus Algeria game with D’ Tigress the winners.
The Nigerian team defeated Mozambique 71-66 in their quarterfinals match. Nigeria narrowly lost 71-70 in arguably Nigeria’s most interesting game in recent memories in the semifinals. In the third place game, the team defeated Angola 65-55.