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Kwese Basket Ball League: Gombe Bulls Will Bounce Back, Says Coach



Gombe Bulls coach, Abdulrahman Mohammed believes it is not over yet for his team. Bulls finished second in the regular Kwese Premier League Season but lost their two games to defending champions, Kano Pillars and Niger Potters in the ongoing Savannah Conference Six play-offs going on in Kaduna.
Speaking on the chances of his team which lost on Monday to Kano Pillars 97-104 points and another loss by one point 105-106 to a hard fighting Niger Potters of Minna in a thrilling neck-to-neck encounter, he said at this stage qualification for the final eight in Kano is their basic resolve.
“We have not lost hope at all. We still have the chance of qualification for the last eight even though we may have to take the difficult route.
“All we need to do now is to make sure we win our three remaining games against Kada Stars on Thursday, Plateau Peaks on Friday and Bauchi Net on Saturday.
“I know the remaining games will not be easy because teams like Kada Stars and Plateau Peaks will want to impress and prove a point against us, but we are ready and have put behind the loses.”
The former national team captain also said it is better that these loses happened at the final six stage rather than the final.
“I am happy the loses came at this stage, had it been during the final eight, we would have been out of contention. The fixtures also are a bit not favourable to us because as a team that came second in the regular season it is unfair to pitch us in early games against top sides like Kano Pillars and Niger Potters knowing that first wins boosts players’ confidence.
“The ideal thing would have been to start with weaker teams and then progress.” Mohammed who was part of the 2015 Afrobasket coaching crew that won the trophy after 50 years decried the poor motivation of his players by the management team in the Conference Six.
“Painfully, we are the least motivated team in this tournament. Agreed, the state government makes sure the players are not owed salaries during the regular season but coming to championship of this magnitude goes beyond having good player and regular salaries, there must be other encouraging incentives like winning bonuses and additional allowances to give the players extra motivation. Constant salaries I must say are not enough there is need for something extra.” He said.

Meanwhile, Wisdom Prince, Niger Potters’ point guard who put up a splendid performance with five three points throws to help his team beat rivals Gombe Bulls in the 106-105 win has attributed the win to their hard fighting spirit.
“We had to keep fighting and it paid off. We played with so much belief and never game up. We gingered ourselves to fight back each time we were trailing.”
The game which ran neck-to-neck with fans standing on their toes saw Prince scoring the match winner three points shot and ending the game with 26 points with Sabo Gabriel leading scorer with 29 points finish, Gideon Omokudu 21 points and Umar Alhaji with 20 points.
“We are in Kaduna to win and qualify for the Final 8. This is my first season in the premier league and it is a dream comes true for me. For me, my dream is to play continental with Potters.”
Potters with two wins against Bauchi Net and Gombe Bulls will today Thursday face Plateau Peaks.

Thursday’s Fixtures
• Kada Stars vs. Gombe Bulls
• Plateau Peaks vs. Niger Potters
• Bauchi Nets vs. Kano Pillars

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers Advance to 2024 BAL Playoffs



Five Hoopers players scored in double digits with Devine Eke (18 points, 18 rebounds) and Peter Olisemeka (17 points, 19 rebounds) dominating the boards 

 Nigeria’ Rivers Hoopers beat Rwanda’s Armée Patriotique Rwandaise (APR) 78-71 in the first-ever BAL ( double-overtime game and became the first Sahara Conference team to clinch a spot in the BAL Playoffs which are set to tip off at BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda on May 24.
Five Hoopers players scored in double digits with Devine Eke (18 points, 18 rebounds) and Peter Olisemeka (17 points, 19 rebounds) dominating the boards as well. Will Perry added 11 points and seven assists in a low scoring affair in which both teams shot less than 40 percent from the floor.    
Jean Jacques Nshobozwabyosenumukiza led APR with 16 points and five rebounds, while Dario Hunt finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. Going into today’s matchups, APR is currently second in the Sahara Conference and will look to secure a postseason berth when they take on Senegal’s AS Douanes (4th place with 2 wins and 3 losses) this evening.
In the second game of the day, the 2022 BAL champions Tunisia’s US Monastir kept their playoff hopes alive, defeating AS Douanes 75-69 and getting their second straight win in the competition. This is a turnaround for the Tunisian champions who started the Sahara Conference from three straight defeats, but now stand one win away from the postseason. Chris Crawford led Monastir with 18 points and seven assists, Oussama Marnaoui scored 16, and Firas Lahyani finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Abdoulaye Harouna led the Douanes with 22 points, with Adama Diakhite adding 14 points and nine rebounds.
APR, AS Douanes and US Monastir will compete for the last two playoff spots when the Sahara Conference concludes this afternoon – Rivers Hoopers will take on US Monastir at 2:30 p.m. GMT and AS Douanes will face APR at 5:30 p.m. GMT.    

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Basketball Africa League (BAL).

Basketball Africa League (BAL)

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The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) has once again reaffirmed Musa Kida as the sole President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

This was contained in its latest letter dated 18th December and addressed to the Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympics Committee, Chief Tunde Popoola who had written to the apex world basketball governing body on the need to name the “eligible representative of the NBBF who will be at the (Nigerian Olympic Committee) (NOC) elective AGM and to vote” in Yola.

FIBA through its newly appointed Secretary General, Andreas Zaglis in their response said “FIBA has communicated with the board of Mr Kida concerning the affairs of the NBBF since July 2017 and has organized FIBA events with the same board’s assistance.”

“Besides, FIBA notes that good progress is being made in regularizing fully the NBBF-FIBA relationship, which remains an internal matter of the basketball family, since the NBBF is not suspended and enjoy full rights as a member,” FIBA continued.

FIBA explained that having earlier received a letter from the NOC recognizing the board elected on the 13th of June 2017 in Abuja and the recent memo of the Federal Ministry of Youth Sports Development revalidating Kida and his board, the international body has deemed it fit to accord the board all the necessary recognition.

Letter from FIDA

The latest letter which finally put paid to insinuations in different quarters over who is in charge of basketball administration in Nigeria expressly named Kida who recently bagged a Doctorate Degree in Credit Management.

The letter granting Kida (or a validly nominated delegate of his) therefore nullified the earlier erroneous pronouncement of the NOC electoral committee chaired by Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima that no board had been recognized by FIBA as the legitimate basketball federation.

With FIBA’s position clearly stated on who is in charge of basketball administration in Nigeria, Engr. (Dr) Musa Kida called on all basketball stakeholders to join hands and contribute meaningfully to basketball growth.

He said despite the recent landmark achievements recorded by the board since its assumption of office, more ground could have been covered especially at the home front if not the incessant distractions.

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D’Tigress captain, Evelyn Akhator has described her double awards at this year’s Nigerian Sports Awards as amazing.

The professional basketball athlete, who plays for the Turkish side Besiktas, stole the show by winning both the Basketball Player of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year categories at the 2018 Nigerian Sports Award held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island in Lagos on Friday.

The 2017 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) third overall pick by Dallas Wings warded off opposition from Odunayo Adekuoroye and Simidele Adeagbo to win the Sportswoman of the Year category. She also beat male basketball player, Ike Diogu and fellow teammate, Adora Elonu to clinch the Basketball Player of the Year award.

The Lagos-born basketball star was elated for winning the awards, describing her mum as a role model and thanked all her supporters who voted for her.

“Picking up the Basketball player of the year and Sportswoman of the year 2018 @ngrsportsaward was truly amazing for me. Where I am today is down to my role model, my mum who always gave me confidence to go out and conquer. I know she is looking down on me with joy. Thank you to all my supporters who voted for me,” Akhator said.

It was also a glorious night for the basketball community as the D’ Tigress crowning it all with the Team of the Year award.

The glamorous award gala saw Aruna Quadri crowned the winner of Sportsman of the Year award while Ahmed Musa emerged the football of the Year.

The seventh edition of the award saw the River State Governor, Nyesom Wike emerged winner for his unflinching commitment to sports as the Governor of the year.

The President of Badminton Federation of the Year, Mr. Francis Orbih picked up the crown for the Sports Administrator of the Year.

The Racket Sportsperson of the Year award went to ace badminton player Yemisi Olatunji and the track and field star of the year award was won by ace sprinter, Tobiloba Amusan.

The Para Sports Person of the Year award went to top para powerlifter, Commonwealth gold medalist and world record holder Esther Oyema.

For the Team Sports Person of the year, a member of the historic Bobsled team which represented Nigeria at the recently concluded winter Olympics, Seun Adigun emerged the winner.

The Wrestler of the Year went to Odunayo Adekuroye while the Nigerian Para Power-Lifting Coach, Are Feyisetan emerged winner for the Coach of the Year. The Discovery of the Year category was handed to Joy Udoh-Gabriel.

In the Journalism category, George Essien of Comfort Radio in Uyo, Akwa Ibom emerged the Radio Sports Presenter of the Year while the Journalist of the Year for Print category and Photojournalist of the Year were won by Gowon Akpodonor of the Guardian newspapers and Akeem Salau of Vanguard newspapers respectively



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