BY ABAYOMI JOHNSON
President Muhammadu Buhari said he was pleased to receive the victorious senior women national basketball team D’ Tigress after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, in recognition of the team’s triumphant campaign at 2018 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket Championship in Bamako, Mali.
He said: “I was pleased to receive our female National Basketball Team, D’Tigress, at the State House today. They have done so much to make us proud.”
The team arrived Abuja on Tuesday two days after they defeated Senegal 65-48 in the final after being accorded a warm reception by the Nigeria Supporters Club in Lagos.
Team Captain, Alisha Mohammed and President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Musa Kida, presented the trophy to Dalung on Tueday night at a reception at the National Stadium, Abuja.
Dalung said the victory will inspire the team to greater heights at the FIBA Women’s World Basketball Championship in Spain next year.
He said the victory will justify the controversial sports reforms he introduced in June that produced a new board of the national sports federations.
“I am convinced that if we do the right things, we will always get the right results. This victory has paled the weight of criticism we faced,” Dalung said.
Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the team, assured that they would put in great efforts to excel in Spain.
A member of the victorious team, Nkechi Akachi, said the tournament was tough, particularly the semi final match against Mali, which Nigeria narrowly won 48-47.
“It was a tough and demanding campaign. The semi final match against Mali could have gone either way. It was not easy when you are playing against the host team, the country, the referee and match commissioner. It was tough,” Akachi who was a member of the team that reached the semi final two years ago in Cameroon observed.