D’Tigress point guard Promise Amukamara has admitted that the team fell short of confidence in the Olympic’s qualifying tournament against the U.S women’s team despite leading at the end of the third quarter.
Speaking on an Instagram live chat with NBBFonline, Amukamara said the team knew all about the top players the US had.
“USA is a great team, they have all the top players, we knew it was only a matter of time for them to start getting rolling and start playing into the post.”
“We knew that sometime, they were going to close the gap and they would not want to lose to an African team,” Amukamaka told NBBFonline.
The USA trailed 57-50 heading into the final quarter but outscored Nigeria 26-14 to take the game 76-71 in the final game at the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament on Sunday night in Belgrade, Serbia, 2 months ago.
“We are not going to hang our heads on that game because we played very well and we’re really proud of ourselves,” the 26-year-old added.
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Promise Amukamara was an integral part of the D’Tigress team that won the Afrobasket Championship in Senegal last year.
Amukamara also added that the break resulting from the coronavirus pandemic has given the team enough time to adequately plan and strategize for the Olympics.
“We’ve been playing for two years now without a break, so this (coronavirus pandemic) will give us time to rejuvenate and reset our minds”.
As one of the top four teams from the 2019 AfroBasket tournament which they won, Nigeria’s senior basketball national team were among 8 teams that competed at the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia.
D’Tigress were drawn in Group A alongside the United States, Serbia and Mozambique whom Nigeria beat in their first game 85-51 on Thursday, February 6 to qualify for the games.