Nigeria’s D’Tigress managed to triumph over Mozambique 57 – 48 despite a late surge from the hosts in the FIBA Olympics Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Maputo on Saturday.
Having walked over DR Congo, who failed to show up in the first game, the African champions started brightly and were cruising after the first quarter after opening up a 13 point lead (8-21).
By the end of the second quarter, the lead over the Mozambicans increased to 19 points (19 – 38).
After halftime, it was the turn of the home side to hit top gear as the Nigerians failed to replicate the first-half performance.
Mozambique, backed by their loud cheering supporters, won the third and fourth quarter (16 – 8, 13 – 11) respectively, reducing the deficit to 9 points, but Otis Hughley Jr’s women managed to survive the comeback and take a crucial win.
It was a good game for Adaora Elonu, as she posted 12 points and 9 rebounds while power forward Evelyn Akhator came through with 9 points, 12 rebounds and a single assist.
MVP (Most Valuable Player) at the AfroBasket championships in Senegal earlier this year Ezinne Kalu also contributed 7 rebounds and 3 assists in the victory.
D’Tigress will face Mali in the semi-finals of the FIBA Olympics Pre-Qualifying Tournament in search of a final berth on Sunday.