African Champions D’Tigress were hosted by two major partners of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Zenith Bank and Total E&P played following their victorious 2019 FIBA Afrobasket Women campaign.
Title sponsors of the Zenith Women Basketball League and Total E&P, sponsors of the Men’s Division 1 and 2 who described the reception as befitting of the African champions, said it was imperative for the girls to be feted and made to understand what they have done for the nation.
Zenith Bank Managing Director, Ebenezer Onyeagwu expressed happiness that the continued investment of the financial institution in Basketball has continued to yield tremendous results on the local and international scene.
“Zenith Bank is so proud of your achievements despite the odds going all out to defend your title in style. As a proud sponsor of the Women’s elite league, we are elated that our partnership with the NBBF has continued to grow and translate to positive results everybody can see.”
Zenith in their tradition disclosed that the team will be credited with a token as their own way of saying “Thank you.”
At Total E&P, Tai Oshisanya, Finance Director while welcoming the team said seeing the team back at Total E&P with the trophy was a thing of joy and a result of the hard work put into the team by the NBBF board, the Technical Crew and the players.
The Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Communications, Biodun Afolabi described the win as the needed ray of light in such a time like this for all Nigerians.
“Your victory means a lot to the nation. What you have done is not just for yourself, your family or the NBBF but for the whole nation. You are setting examples for the whole nation with young boys and girls looking up to you that if you could do it, we can do it also.”
While responding, team captain, Adaora Elonu said the dynasty that they are trying to create is finally taking shape with what they have been able to achieve in the past 3 years with 2 Afrobasket titles and an 8th placed finish at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup.
“It was important that we came back home and appreciate our fans for their support. We are definitely on a mission. We implore more of Government’s support and corporate organisations to invest in basketball which will make our journey smoother.”
While responding at the event, the NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida appreciated Zenith Bank and Total for deeming it fit to accord the team the deserved recognition after defeating Senegal in their backyard to successfully defend the title they won in 2017.
“Zenith Bank’s passion for women’s basketball development in Nigeria is second to none. Their support for the league and the national team is well documented and we appreciate every bit of it as a federation.”
Reacting during the reception organised by Total, Kida who also doubles as Total Nigeria Deputy Managing Director lauded the recent and growing partnership between NBBF and Total which he hoped can get better.
“We are excited at the immense possibilities that this partnership can bring. Today is all about our courageous women.”
D’Tigress went on an unbeaten run of five games defeating host- Senegal in the final to retain their African title.
The team is currently on a 14-game unbeaten run dating back to 2015 when they defeated Angola in the 3rd placed game to clinch the bronze medal.