D’Tigress end Olympics qualifiers on a high despite 71-76 defeat to USA

Ezinne Kalu

Reigning African champions, D’Tigress ended their FIBA Olympics Qualifying tournament on a high despite a narrow 71-76 points loss to world champions- USA at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall, Belgrade, Serbia.

The Otis Hughley inspired ladies put up a gallant performance that many would talk about for a long time.

D’Tigress dominated the first half, 21-20, 19-6 as they went into half time 40-26 points which would sound like a huge joke for many.

However, USA came out fighting in the third quarter to narrowly pick the game 24-17 as the D’Tigress held on to 7 point lead heading to the last quarter where USA completed their comeback.

Ezinne Kalu who was voted as one of the group’s top five players alongside Ana Debovic (Serbia), Leia Dongue (Mozambique), A’ja Wilson (USA) and Nneka Ogwumike (USA) once again led the team with 17pts, 8 assists and 4 rebounds.

Victoria Macaulay had 12 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist while Evelyn Akhator after failing to score against Serbia on match day 2 dropped 10 points and 4 rebounds.

Before the last group match, D’Tigress had qualified for Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Players and coaches will on Monday depart Belgrade for their various clubs.

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