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D’Tigress: Meet women who made Nigeria proud at FIBA 2018 WWC

They went, they saw and they conquered in style at the just concluded FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup  in Spain. D’Tigress broke the jinx when they defeated better-rated sides like Turkey, Greece and Argentina to make the last eight, where they eventually lost narrowly to defending champions, the U.S.
In their last classification battle, the girls lost by the narrowest of margins to Canada (72 to 73) to end in the eight position.
In the game played at the San Cristobal de la Laguna arena, Canada took the lead 21 to 17 in the first quarter, but Nigeria clawed back in the second, making 19 points to the opponent’s nine.
The third quarter was tied at 19 points apiece before the Canadians edged the game in the fourth quarter with 24 points to Nigeria’s 18 to end the game at 73 to 72.
As has been the case in this championship, Evelyn Akhator was the leader in the D’Tigress line up with 13 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and a +16 efficiency.
It would be recalled that the team last year emerged African champions, the first time in 12 years.
In this write up, Head Sports, TOYIN SAHEED profiles the 11 players that made Nigeria proud at the 2018 World Cup campaign.

1. Elo Edema Edeferioka
Former Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca of Spain player, Adaora Elonu, was announced the Captain of the Nigeria senior women’s basketball team ahead of the 2018 FIBA World Cup holding in Spain.
The appointment of Elonu, who recently got signed by WNBA side, Atlanta Dreams, was announced by D’Tigress new coach, Otis Hughes.
Adaora Elonu led D’Tigress scorers’ chart with 15 points and two assists.
Position:     Center
Date of Birth:    10 Apr 1993 (age 25)
Height:        190cm / 6’3”

2. Cecilia Okoye
Cecilia Okoye was a former player of Nigerian side, First Bank Women’s Basketball Club of Lagos also known as the Elephant Girls during the 2017 FIBA Africa champions cup for women tournament at Angola.
The tournament took place from November 10-19, while the Spanish league was not yet started. She averaged 10.3pts, 5.3 rebounds and 1 assists per game during the tournament.
The forward contributed immensely to team’s success at the competition.
Club:        Celta Vigo
Date of Birth:    Sept 13, 1991

3. Akhator Evelyn
For many, asides being the top performer in the D’Tigress team, the 3rd overall pick in the 2017 WNBA was widely seen as the most valuable player, MVP, at the FIBA Women’s 2017 Afrobasket Championship. She accounted for 122 of the total points haul of the D’Tigress.
Her highest scoring games were in the group ties against Egypt and Guinea when she scored 24 points apiece.
Evelyn, who made three double-double in the FIBA 2018 World Cup, scored nine points, six rebound, two assist and two steals.
She is also the player with the most minutes played in 2018 world cup (157 minutes).

Date of Birth:    Feb 3, 1995 (age 22)
Team:        Dallas Wings (USA)
Position:    Power forward / Center

4. Aisha Mohammed
Aisha was the former captain of the team and a veteran who ensured that her wealth of experience rubbed off positively on the rest of the team.
The forward contributed a total of 33 points; thus averaging 4.1 per game as the D’Tigress blew off all the opposition that came their way.

Date of Birth:    October 21, 1985 (age 31)
Team:    OGM Orman (Turkey)
Position:    Forward

5. Ezinne Kalu-Phelps
Kalu has regularly played for Nigerian senior team since 2016 and previously for U19 National Team back in 2011.
Kalu graduated from Savannah State in 2015 and it will be her third season in professional basketball.
Previously playing in Portugal where she was a hot cake, Hungarian club, VasasAkademia (A Division) just tapped Nigerian international guard.
She pulled her best performance against Spain and Greece.
Date of Birth:    June 26, 1992 (age 25)
Team: VasasAkademia (Hungary)
Position:    Guard

6. Sarah Ogoke-Ejiogu
The Spain-based all-action player was part of the D’Tigress team that narrowly lost out on the title in 2015.
It is safe to say the bitter experience last time out in Cameroon spurred Sarah on in Mali as she registered an improve performance.
In all, the Celta de Vigo guard scored 67 points for D’Tigress; averaging 8.4 per game.
Sarah’s highest scoring games were against Egypt and Guinea where she had 13 points apiece to her name.
She also did same at the just concluded tournament in spain.
Date of Birth:    June 25, 1990 (age 27)
Team:    RC Celta de Vigo (Spain)
Position:    Guard

7. Adaora Elonu
Elonu is another experienced player in the D’Tigress team in Spain.
Elonu was quite spectacular in the final match against Senegal where she scored 12 points. it was her second highest points haul during the 2017 Afrobasket.
Based on available statistics, Elonu registered the most assists in the Nigeria team; averaging 3.9 per game.
Date of Birth:    Apr 28, 1990 (age 27)
Team:    CB Avenida (Spain)
Position:    Forward

8. Nkechi Akashili
Another player from the home front and equally from the First Bank Women’s Basketball club, Akashil’s love for the dunking game pushed her to go against the wish of her dad who wanted her to play football.
The University of Lagos graduate had a fairly good outing in Mali where she raked in 45 points at an average of 5.6 per game.
Date of Birth:    February 22, 1990 (age 27)
Team:    First Bank Basketball club (NGR)
Position:    Guard

9. Atonye Nyingifa
The Israel-based power forward falls into the category of the newbies in D’Tigress. But indeed, she was a key member especially in terms of rebounds and assists and she finished as the third best overall in the Nigeria team.
Date of Birth:    December 8, 1990 (age 26)
Team:    HapoelRishon Le-Zion (Israel)
Position:    Power Forward

10. Sarah Imovbioh
She was more of a bit-part player but nonetheless, she contributed her own quota even though she only had a cumulative time of 32 minutes all through the tournament in Spain. In that period, she had a total of 12 points.
Date of Birth:    24 May 1992 (26 years old)
Height:        188cm / 6’2″
Nationality:    NGR

11. Promise Amukamara
The flashy playmaker is averaging a NCAA-best 27.7 points per game, topping the 30-point mark nine times. She had 53 points against Sacred Heart, 52 against St. Francis-Brooklyn and 45 against Stony Brook — all three games producing single-game school records at the time.
Date of Birth: 22 Jun.1993
Place of birth: New Jersey, NJ (NGR)
Height: 173cm/5’8″
Position: Guard
Current club: C.R.E.F Hola (ESP)

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