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Turkish star hails D’Tigress despite victories over Nigeria



Turkish star hails D’Tigress despite victories over Nigeria

Lara Sanders, Turkey’s leading scorer in last year’s EuroBasket Women, has praised Nigeria women basketball team, the D’Tigress despite winning two games against the Africans at the weekend.

The two warm-up games are part of preparations for the 2016 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held in Nantes, France, from June13-19.

While Turkey prevailed at both games – winning 68-56 and 67-56 -, and looked impressive offensively, the Western Africans, who travelled to Istanbul without head coach Scott Nnaji and five other players due to administrative reasons, struggled on both ends of the floor.

Sanders set the tone averaging 16 points in the two preparation games while Helen Ogunjimi fuelled Nigeria’s offense with successive three-pointers off the bench, but the series belonged to Turkey, who will resume its preparations facing Belarus in Minsk later this week.

Turkey led by as many as 22 points in the first half of Game 2, but Nigeria rallied to cut the deficit to just five points later in the final quarter.

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Yet, Turkey made sure to regroup in time to deny Nigeria, who heads to the WOQT as bronze medallist of last year’s AfroBasket Women.

“We are experienced as a group,” the 1.91m center told

“We started the game really focused, but in the second half, but Nigeria took advantage at some point.” Sanders said of Game 2.

“They [Nigeria] are a young team, but they played really tough in both games.”

In order to advance to the Quarter-Finals, both Turkey and Nigeria will need at least one win in their Group Phase.

Turkey will go against Argentina and Cameroon in Group A while Nigeria will face Korea and Belarus in Group C.

A win or two in the Final Phase would see both teams through to the Rio Olympics.



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