Three-straight African champions, D’Tigress, are back in Nigeria with the most prestigious trophy on the continent.
The Nigerian queens defeated Mali 70-59 Sunday night in Yaounde to win the 2021 Afrobasket Women. The feat means they have continued to dominate African basketball winning the 2017, 2019, and 2021 editions without dropping a game.
Nigeria had previously won the 2003 and 2005 editions in Maputo and Abuja respectively.
D’Tigress returned Monday morning aboard an ASky flight from Yaounde. Only three members of the team however returned with the coveted trophy while the others are billed to leave Yaahot Hotel, Yaounde at Monday midnight back to their clubs and schools.
Musa Murjaratu and Nkem Akaraiwe returned with one of the team’s assistant coaches, Samson Sotuminu. Sotuminu is the coach of Air Warriors, the current champions of the Zenith Bank Women’s League.
They were led back by the NBBF vice president Babs Ogunade and Col Sam Ahmedu (retd) of the NBBF and FIBA Africa.
D’Tigress captain Adaora Elonu explained why the rest of the team couldn’t return to Nigeria.
“The timing is very challenging; it was not the best time of the season for many of us and that’s why some of our players couldn’t be in camp.
“It is the start of the season for clubs and schools,” Elonu said as she waited for her flight back to Russia.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation is expected to announce a reception programme for the team in conjunction with the sports ministry.