The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who deemed it fit to watch virtually every game of Team Nigeria in Tokyo, offered some encouraging words to the D’Tigress team after the resilient Team USA beat them in the women’s basketball event at the Olympics.
Nigeria’s national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, on Tuesday lost 81-72 to the United States in their Olympic Games opener in Saitama. It was a brave performance from the African champions who were recently beaten by these same Americans 93-62 in an exhibition game in Las Vegas.
Although the Nigerians lost the match, Minister Dare was full of praise for the team.
“I watched the game from the start to the end. Every moment. I saw players who can fight and they fought,” Dare said after the game. “From 20 points disadvantage, I saw them climb back steadily.
“The next game will be better. I trust them. They are like a family. Going up against the Americans like they did, our team is good and can be better”
Since losing in the quarterfinals of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the United States women have dominated the Nigerians.
D’Tigress will play France on Friday in a game that could see the Nigerians record its first victory at the Olympics since the 2004 Athens Olympics. In Athens, the D’Tigress team, led by the legendary Mfon Udoka, defeated South Korea 68-64.