Nigeria women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, quest of securing a ticket for the 2016 Rio Olympics basketball received a boost on Tuesday as they rallied to beat Korea 70-69 in the closest game so far at the 2016 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The team lost their first group C game 71-60 to Belarus on Monday, but after trailing for most of the contest against Korea, Ezinne Kalu hit a three-pointer with 4.6 seconds left to play to rescue Nigeria from a potential elimination.
Korea paid the price for getting little production from their bench players who contributed only 11 points against Nigeria’s 37 while Kalu converted a three-point play with 2:51 remaining but that was just the beginning of a stretch that saw four lead-changes until the final buzzer sounded.
Kalu not only turned out to be a game-changer but also her team’s new hero after scoring 11 points off the bench for Nigeria.
Korea head coach We Sungwo commended the Nigerian coaching staff who called a timeout when trailing 69-67 with 12 seconds to go. In the ensuing possession, Kalu executed the game-winning play that edges Nigeria closer to the Quarter-Finals.
Twelve teams from five federations are taking part in the qualifiers, with the top five teams earning places in the 2016 Olympics basketball tournament.
The 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament which began on Monday will end on Sunday.
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