Nigeria, Senegal impress in FIBA Women’s World Cup 2018
For the first time in the competition history, two African nations attained a revolutionary by moving out of the Group Phase, and more importantly, they proved to be the equals of their European and American counterparts.
Following this display, the FIBA Africa President Hamane Niang urged African countries to build on Nigeria’s and Senegal’s performances at FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018 in Tenerife, Spain.
Although both Senegal and Nigeria opened their campaigns in Tenerife on the losing side with defeats to eventual finalists USA and Australia respectively the Africans came up stronger on the 2nd day of the competition, with the Senegalese beating Latvia and the Nigerians getting the better of Turkey.
The defeat of the high flying Latvia by the Senegalese team came as a shocker to fans of the sport. And, even more surprising, was when Turkey – ranked 10th in the FIBA World Ranking Women, presented by Nike – fell short against Nigeria, a team that had last participated at a World Cup in 2006.
Nigeria went on a three-game winning streak beating Argentina and Greece to become the first African team to reach the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Quarter-Finals for much to the delight of fans, basketball fans, and an entire African continent.
According to Niang an interview with FIBA.basktball she said “We have to tip our hats off to Nigeria and Senegal for their performances against European teams,”
She further stated that “It was one of the objectives set out in Africa for our national teams to compete against the Europeans because, other than the USA and Australia, it is these sides from Europe that have been the big threats at past Women’s World Cups.”
However following the interesting run of the Nigerian team they finished in the eight positions, while Senegal returned home with an encouraging 12th place out of 16, and a lot to look forward in years to come.
The next battle for the crown of Africa women’s basket will take place next year at a country yet to be determined, and the winner will earn the right to represent African at 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Big Read |