After a pulsating win over arch-rivals Senegal in the opening game of their FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Wednesday, D’Tigress coach, Rena Wakama, has categorically said, “We’re not afraid of them”.
Rena Wakama made the statement while speaking about the team’s next fixtures against world champions the United States and European champions Belgium.
Nigeria today at 6.15 pm will face the United States who needed a buzzer-beating tip-in from Breanna Stewart to beat Belgium 81-79.
D’Tigress over time have been dominated by the United States, however, they would be looking to upset the world champions later today as they hope to book their Paris 2024 spot with a game in hand. The last time both teams met in a FIBA WOQT was on February 9, 2020. The United States pipped Nigeria 76-71.
The United States has already qualified for the Olympics via the World Cup champions route but will be hoping they can keep the confidence going with a win over Nigeria.
Looking forward to the game, Wakama who has applauded the doggedness shown by her ward in the victory over Senegal insists that she is not afraid of either the United States or Belgium.
“We got past the first roadblock, but we’re going on to the next one, and the last one. We’re not afraid of anybody and we’re going to continue to fight and show everyone who we are,” Wakama said during the post-game press conference.
Amy Okonkwo who had a double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds) in the win over Senegal also agreed with coach Wakama that the team is in Antwerp to win more than just one game.
“Honestly, I just think that we came here to win every game that we can, not just one. The win against Senegal did feel like a final, I think every game should feel like a final.”
D’Tigress currently tops Group A after the first round of games.