Nigeria’s female basketball national team, D’Tigress coach, Otis Hughley has promised that his side will not underrate any opponent at the 2019 African Women’s Basketball Championship in Dakar, Senegal.
Following an opening match blow-out victory against Tunisia and another cruise over eastern neighbors, Cameroon en route to a quarter-final ticket, Hughley assured that the defending champions will not get overconfindent in their quest for an encore in Senegal.
The American basketball gaffer stressed during Radio Nigeria Network News monitored in Lagos that all other competing teams in the ongoing contest deserve respect, which he saiys his side will continue to do.
D’Tigress started their title defence with a blow out win over Tunisia on Saturday at the new Dakar Arena in Senegal, with Evelyn Akhator on top for Nigeria in a 75-26 win over the North Africans.
Akhator scored a game high 13 points to finish with 10 rebound double-double while adding 3 steals, 1 block and 2 assists in the game, shooting 83.33% of field goals and 3/4 from the free throw line in 15 minutes.
Atonye Nyingifa added 12 points and 4 rebounds the second player on double figures for Nigeria, while Jasmine Nwajei (7), Sarah Ogoke (6) and Sarah Imovbioh (6) were effective from the boards.
With 6:25 minutes remaining in the second quarter, Nigeria had taken a 20 points lead over Tunisia (38-8) and further made it a 30 points lead heading to the break (40-10).
Tunisia could only score 4 points in the entire second quarter and the damage was however worsened in the second half as the North African side were left in sorry state.
No Tunisian player made a double digit point in the entire game, but D’Tigress gave away 21 turn overs and made three of 18 from the deep, which Hughley said he worked on before they tackled Cameroon in their second game on Tuesday for a place in the quarter-finals.
Having overcome that hurdle as well, all tongues are wagging over the similitude of a Nigerian squad that is better than the one that won the 2017 edition in Mali, but Hughley insists they must stay humble.
Hughley added: “We have to take it a gmae at a time, not to hurry about winning any match and not to underrate any opponent.
“Every team in this competition deserve respect from all the opponents, and that is what we give them all.
“We want to win all our matches, but we will not say we will beat the next team until we play them. We are not talking about winning any match until it is played.”