Nigeria kept a clean slate after breaking the Senegalese own at the finals, defeating them at their home, 60-55.
The most anticipated game was more than what the fans bargained for. While the 15,000 seat capacity of the stadium was fully booked, the D'Tigress broke the hearts of home fans, and got the much needed respect they deserved. Both team had not lost any game, and this final was the decider.
In 2017, Nigeria had a clean sweep of the tournament 8-0, while this year, 5-0; a total of 13-0 in two series of the tournament. Nigeria is also the second team to win back-2-back, after Angola.
It must be the jersey.
Team D'Tigress were at the verge of not coming into the 2017 Afrobasket Women's tournament with a kit sponsor.
The previous sponsor backed out prior to the tournament, however an indigenous brand AFA Sports stepped in to provide the team with their high end jerseys. The rest is history.
AFA Sports has had a high influx of demand by fans, other sports, and countries worldwide. Their innovative designs and materials are catchy and durable.
Also the hard work and dedication by the General Manager, Mactabene Amarachee, who has relentlessly put her staff together, was no child's play. The former captain of the D'Tigress alongside everyone was pleased with the achievements.
The coaching crew led by Otis Hughley would never be forgotten in a hurry. Otis led team Nigeria to their first ever quarter finals at the World in 2018, and led D'Tigress to a win far better than the previous.
Meanwhile, Aisha Balarade nee Mohammed unlocked another achievement, by being the only player in Nigeria and probably Africa, to win four Afrobasket Women's championship. 2003,2005, 2017 and 2019.
Another new record is Dakar Arena registering biggest crowd in African basketball history.
Ezinne Kalu win the tournament MVP Award with 13 points, 3.2 assists, 3 steals and 2.6 rebounds per game, while Evelyn Akhator 11 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Both made it to the Top 5.
A recap of top statistics at the finals
#13 Evelyn Akhator 14 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals
#23 Ezinne Kalu: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals
#10 Promise Amukamara: 12 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist
All Nigerian ladies did exceptionally great in their endevours to support one another to this stage. We look forward to another exciting episode.
Next stop...Olympics 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.