Some basketball fans in Lagos have commended the female national basketball team, D’tigress, despite losing their first game to the US national team, 81-72, in the basketball event of the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Tuesday.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) some sports fans praised the national team’s efforts, saying that they were confident the team would go far.
Head Coach of Lagos Islanders, Seyi Ayodele, told NAN that the team’s performance was a good one and that the team had improved a lot during preparations.
“D’tigress played US during their preparations and lost woefully with 30 points deficit, indeed losing with just nine points shows the team’s strength.
“However going to the next game they need to do more at the freethrow lines and and do more at the three points.
“Their second game in the competition would determine how far they can go, not rulling out this performance as a world class achievement,” Ayodele said.
Faruk Adetola, a sports enthusiast, said the the team showed good character, brilliant display and wonderful knoweledge of the game.
He said there was proper team coordination, balance and as well as good approach to get the right result.
“We played the best team in the world, team USA are yet to lose since Barcelona 1992 Summer Games, so to lose with just nine points is still commendable.
“However, the team still needs to show more determination and agressivenes to overcome their next opposition in the group encounter.
“I’m confident that they can go far, they have a lot of confidence in themselves as a team and they must work harder,” Adetola said.
Similarly, Tunde Adebayo, a basketball player, said he was impressed with the team’s performance and that they gave a good account of themselves.
“D’tigress can go all the way, I don’t think they are pushovers anymore. If you look at the game the US team had to work hard to earn their win.
“In our next game the team should push harder and be more aggressive in the offensive,”Adebayo said.
NAN reports that the match, which was played in high tempo could have gone either way as Nigeria rose to an early lead in the first quarter with 20-17 points.
The US national team, ranked number one in the sport and yet to lose since 1992 Barcelona Summer Games, fought back and took the second quarter 27-12.
Although D’tigress made a full-court press on the defence and offensive play, but succumbed to another dominant performance by the US team who took the third quater, 26-18 points.
D’tigress had several turnovers that gave the US the advantage, especially at the second and third quarters, which propelled Team USA to their first victory.
US Brittney Grinner, Wilson A’ja and Taurasi Dianna recorded 13, 19 and 10 points, respectively to help their team defeat D’tigress.
US A’ja was also so impressive in the offensive and defensive rebounds that gave D’tigress a lot of trouble to deal with.
Nigeria’s inspirational playmaker, Ezinne Kalu, powered home 16 points in the game and was a force to reckon with.
Adaora Elonu also contributed 10 points as Victoria Macaulay recorded 11 points to help her team compete at top level.
D’tigress would face France and Japan in their other group games and would be looking at booking their ticket among the three teams to qualify from the group. (NAN)