2017 Afrobasket: Akhator Hopeful Against Guinea

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Ahead of their fourth group match against Guinea at the ongoing 2017 FIBA Women Afrobasket tournament in Mali, D’Tigress top star, Evelyn Akhator is confident of another world class performance against fellow West African side.

Akhator, who plays as a forward/center and currently in the books of Dallas Wings in the Women National Basketball Association (WNBA) said despite an impressive outing so far in the competition, she has not fully reached her full potential.

The influential player started her campaign against Mozambique with 13 points and 6 rebounds before hitting 7points and catching 9 rebounds against DR Congo and climaxed it on Sunday against Egypt with 24points, 5 assists and 13 rebounds.

Speaking after her effort ensured Nigeria became the first team to qualify for the quarter finals, Akhator said she is enjoying herself.

“I am just having fun.  One thing about basketball is that you just have to have fun to be at your best and that is what I have been doing.”

Despite recording a double-double against Egypt, the number 3 pick in the 2017 WNBA draft is not carried away by her performances so far at the competition as she is fully focused on the games ahead.

“I don’t care about the scores, we just play every opposition at a time and that is what I have been doing and I think it’s been working not just for me but also for the team.”

She expressed satisfaction with the team’s display after a good outing which saw them blowing out their Egyptian opposition with a 106points to 72 win.

According to her, opponents who underrated them due to their size have continued to regret it.

Speaking about the team’s chances of winning the tournament and booking an automatic ticket to the 2018 FIBA World cup, Akhator said the team is not getting ahead of themselves with 2 more group games to play.

Akhator concluded that if the team is to stand a reasonable chance of winning the tournament, they need to focus more on their transition defence and offence.

“I think we are going to learn from our mistakes and get better. Every game is a learning experience for us. Against Egypt, we noticed we needed to take care of the ball more, we needed to reduce our turnovers and that was exactly what we did.”

The game will take place at 11:45am (local time) on Tuesday.