D’Tigress on Saturday booked a ticket to the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo despite losing to host-Serbia in their second group game at the ongoing FIBA Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament 70-64 points.
Mozambique’s quest to qualify ahead of Nigeria suffered a heavy blow when they lost scandalously 124-49 to current world champions, USA, as the Nigeria Basketball Federation set another enviable record of being the only federation in Nigeria to have two teams at the Olympics.
Being in command of the first quarter which they won 22-21 points, their good works were undone in the second and third quarters as their inability to convert their chances saw Serbia work their way back into contention winning 22-12 and 16-12 to open a decent lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Nigeria’s senior women national team tried to rally back in the last quarter after cutting down the deficit to just four points with less than two minutes to go, but two successive turnovers by Ezinne Kalu put a stop to that.
Although they picked the last quarter, 18-11, it was a case of too little too late against the host who on the back of vociferous home support stood their ground to see out the game.
Point guard, Kalu led the charge for Nigeria with 20 points, three rebounds, and two steals while Promise Amukamara scored 15 points, four rebounds on the night.
Team captain, Adaora Elonu weighed in with nine points of her own as well as six rebounds.
On Sunday (today), Nigeria will take on the USA in their last group game which will have no effect on the 2020 Olympics qualification.