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King’s Cup Championship, Learning Process – Scrabble Coach

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The National Coach, Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), Victor Okwurere, has said that the King’s Cup Championship in Thailand educated the NSF’s technical team on the sport’s emerging rules.

Okwurere told newsmen that during the competition which held from June 26 to June 29, the technical team understudied new techniques of the game.

“We used the competition to understudy the new technicalities in the sport and we’ll use it to boost the technical aspects of the Godswill Akpabio Classics in September.

“And with that, we’ll be able to put up a hitch-free tournament in September without issues of bad officiating from participants because it involves a lot of cash prizes and players from across the world.

“And the King’s Cup was a good platform to use to expose our technical team to the rules,” the coach said.

He disclosed that the NSF would use the Godswill Akpabio Scrabble Classics to train players for the African Scrabble Championship in Tanzania in November.

“Apart from us using the King’s Cup as a preparatory platform for the Godswill Akpabio Classics, it was also geared towards monitoring players’ performance ahead of the African Scrabble Championship.

“As you know, we’re the defending champions for the African Scrabble Championship so we need to prepare adequately,” he said.

It will be recalled that Jighere Wiliton won the 8th African Scrabble Championship in Nairobi, Kenya in 2011.

The coach also commended the performance of Nigerian players at the King’s Cup, saying it was a positive sign of development in the sport.

“It was a good result and a positive sign that indicates we are not doing badly in the sport in the world if we have a player among the first twenty.

“We had over 250 players in the master’s category alone to tell you how prestigious the tournament is and we had players in the top forty,” he said.

The coach disclosed that Bob Okoridem emerged 14th in the master’s category, while himself and the NSF President, Toke Aka, were among the top 40.

The NSF scribe said that he was commending the players who participated because they sponsored themselves to the event.

“We did not go with our very best because we had the challenge of sponsorship, so most of the players sponsored themselves to the tournament.

“This shows that with the necessary competitive environment a players’ best can be displayed,” he said.

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Aiteo Cup: Diri Hails Bayelsa Finalists

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has lauded the feat of the state-owned football teams who reached the finals in the male and female categories of the 2021 Aiteo Cup.
Diri, while congratulating Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens for their outstanding performances, praised their indomitable spirit and resilience in surmounting the odds to qualify for the last stage of Nigeria’s oldest football competition.
Bayelsa United, who plays in the second tier Nigerian National League, on Friday defeated Premier League neighbours Rivers United 1-0 in the semi-finals, while Bayelsa Queens crushed perennial rivals Rivers Angels 5-0 to reach the women’s final.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, described Bayelsa United as “giant killers” for defeating Premier League sides Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and Rivers United on their way to the final.
“The excellent run of Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens in this year’s Aiteo Cup is very heartwarming. Both teams reaching the finals is no mean feat. I congratulate them for making the state proud and setting a record of teams from the state playing in the finals of the male and female categories of the same competition for the first time,” Diri stated.
“By their outstanding performance, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens have shown that the sporting revolution of our Prosperity Administration, which resulted in Bayelsa placing third in the last National Sports Festival in Edo State for the first time, is on course. I therefore urge them to complete their excellent run in the competition by bringing home the trophies.

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D’Tigress To Play Mozambique In Afrobasket

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Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’Tigress, have been drawn to face Mozambique and a yet to qualify team in Group B of the 2021 Women’s Afrobasket, which holds from September 17 to 27 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The draw was held in Yaounde last Saturday.
D’Tigress will be hoping to retain the title they won two years ago in Senegal, where they defeated the hosts in the final. A win in Cameroon will mean they have won the last three editions of the tournament.
The Nigerians will know their final group opponent when the FIBA Zone 6 qualifiers take place from August 16 to 22.
In Group A, hosts Cameroon will face Cape Verde and Kenya, while Senegal, the most successful team in the competition’s history with 11 first-place finishes, will slug it out with Egypt and Gabon in Group C.
Mali, Ivory Coast, and a team to be decided via wild card will fight for a slot in the next round in Group D.

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Ebonyi Football Fans Celebrate Nwankwo Kanu At 45

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Football fans in Ebonyi State yesterday, celebrated the birthday of formerNigerian international and Arsenal legend, Nwankwo Kanu.
The former Super Eagles skipper turned 45 yesterday.
Tidespoets source gathered  that the 1993 FIFA U-17 world cup winner, fondly called “Papillo’’ by his fans had 86 caps for Nigeria.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club of Owerri’s talisman scored 13 goals for Nigeria in an enviable career that spanned from 1994 to 2010.
Kanu is a recipient of the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), an Olympic Games football gold medalist and had illustrious club careers with Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion of England.
Defunct Ebonyi Angels FC of Abakaliki Defender, James Onele, said that Kanu thrilled soccer fans across the world with sublime skills and trademark passes.
“Kanu won two African Footballer of the Year awards, an AFCON silver medal, four AFCON bronze medals among other honours.
“He was the first Nigerian, alongside Finidi George to win the prestigious UEFA champions league trophy with Ajax in 1995,” said Onele.
An Arsenal FC supporter, Ejike Okoro, said the club’s fans were proud of Kanu’s achievements during his time with the English Premier League side.
“Kanu played 197 times for Arsenal, scoring 44 goals and was part of the club’s invincible team that did not lose any match in the 2003-04 EPL season.
“He was instrumental in endearing Arsenal to millions of Nigerian soccer fans, despite later dropping to lowly-rated clubs such as Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion,” Okoro said.
A banker and football enthusiast, Chief Barry Ogoh, told active footballers to emulate Papillo in investing adequately for the ‘rainy day’.
“Kanu, Augustine J.J. Okocha, among other ex-internationals are still financially stable as many ex-internationals have become bankrupt.

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