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D'Tigress lose FIBA Women’s World Cup qualifiers opener to China

Nigeria’s D’Tigress were outclassed 90-76 by China in the opening game of the FIBA Women’s World Cup qualifiers in Belgrade, Serbia on Thursday.

The Otis Hughley-led girls, who booked a place in the qualifier after their historic three-peat triumph at the 2021 Afrobasket in Yaounde, sorely missed Ezinne Kalu, who has been ruled out for six months with a knee injury.

They were totally outplayed by the Chinese, who controlled the game from the tip-off and established a wide lead of 29-14 in the first quarter. D’Tigress found it difficult to contain their opponents in the second quarter as the deficit was extended further to 54-36 at halftime.

D’Tigress, however, sprang to life in the final quarter with the trio of Promise Amukamara, Adaora Elonu and Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah, but it was too late and too little for the team as China won the clash with a 14-point margin.

Nigeria will face France on Friday at 8 pm before playing Mali on Sunday in the final group game. They will be hoping to finish among the top three in the group to qualify for the World Cup billed for Sydney later this year.

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