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Ex-US Basketball Player Rates Zenith Playoffs High

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The Players’ Representa
tive on the Board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Olumide Oyedeji, has said that the just-concluded 2013/2014 Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League Playoffs was one of the best in recent times.
Oyedeji made the assertion while reviewing the competition which was held in June in Lagos.
He said the inclusion of the All Stars game among the best 24 selected players of the championship for the first time further brought the entertainment to spectators.
Oyedeji, a former U.S.-based professional basketball player, said the introduction of the veteran’s game and the three points shoot out were part of the side attractions that made the championship more glamorous.
“We are happy about this edition, we wanted to bring something new to celebrate with our sponsors Zenith Bank for their 10 years unwavering support to the development of the game.
“We also wanted to add some more interesting aspects for the participants and the fans.
“The veterans’ game was important because we wanted to recognise those who have been a core part of the championship, hopefully, we will continue with this concept,” Oyedeji said.
First Bank of Lagos emerged the 2013/2014 champions.
A determined First Bank fought hard to overcome the former four-time champions, First Deepwater, 64-61 in their semi-final clash and began to believe that the championship could be theirs.
However, they still had to face high flying Dolphins Club of Lagos, 65-51 to finally clinch their sixth title having waited for four years.
Ironically, it was Dolphins who halted First Bank progress in their semi-final clash of the 2012/2013 edition which was later won by First Deepwater.
According to Scot Nnaji, the coach of the national female team, D’Tigress, First Bank, First Deepwater and Dolphins can be regarded as the elite teams of the competition.
“The likes of First Bank, First Deepwater and Dolphins are obviously the best teams in the championship.
“They have the best organisational structure and a very good culture of developing youths through basketball.
“They have also been in the forefront for many years and with their passion for the game they will always dominate the scene for many years to come,’’ Nnaji said.
However, Aderemi Adewunmi, First Bank coach, expressed satisfaction over his team’s performance.
He stressed that his team was the best team in the championship, adding that his side was well prepared for the championship psychologically and physically.
“We played well throughout the campaign and clearly deserved to win the trophy at the end.
“However, we still had to work hard all through and did not allow any complacency to set in until we were crowned champions.
“It is a great achievement for us winning our sixth title, because we have waited for five years to win this title, so it is precious to us,’’ Adewunmi said.

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CAF Mulls Super League Idea

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The Confederation of African Football [CAF] is discussing the idea of introducing an African Super League, a continental competition which would likely replace the current CAF Champions League and hopefully boost revenue for the organising body.
The revelation was made as CAF President Patrice Motsepe issued a statement outlining the changes and reforms the new leadership is making to ensure African football is globally competitive and self-sustaining.
The idea has taken shape even despite the disastrous European Super League [ESL] proposal earlier this year, which caused major controversy before being banned after most founding member clubs bowed to fan pressure and pulled out.
“ExCo [the CAF executive committee] may have to discuss and consider new CAF competitions which may generate additional funding or income for CAF, its member associations and bodies and also contribute to African football becoming globally competitive and self-sustaining,” Motsepe was quoted as saying by Tidesports source.
“In this regard, we are assessing and [are] in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive and broadly supported and beneficial CAF African Super League. We have been following the attempts by some top European clubs to form a Euro Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls.”
CAF is looking to boost income after recent forensic auditing revealed that the organisation has been beset by financial irregularities.

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NPFL: Rivers United’s Coach Praises Players

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The Chief Coach of Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, Ndubuisi Nduka, has praised his players after a 1-0 win over Katsina United FC in the match day 28 of the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) in Port Harcourt.
He stated that his boys (players) gave all their best  to ensure they secured the maximum three points for the team, and described the encounter as very tough. 
Nduka, said this on Sunday, during a post match interview with sports journalists, after the Pride of Rivers, defeated their opponents  1-0, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
According to him, what made the match more difficult for his players was that they failed to utilise goal opportunities they created in the first half of the game.
The only goal of the game came in the 77th minute by home boy, Malachi Ohawume, who made his goals four for this league season.
“It was a tough game; I think our boys gave it all.
What made it more difficult for us was the chances we lost especially in the first half, “ Nduka said.
He explained that the second round of the league is always difficult because every team is fighting to be at top and some are fighting not to be relegated.
“At this point and time of the league, the second round, we are stretching to the finishing point.
“It is always difficult and if you remember the position of Katsina United, they are not safe so they are looking for where to pick points, so I gave kudos to my boys as they secured three points for us, “ he stated. 
Rivers United is now 4th on the log after 28 matches with 48 points.

By:  Kiadum Edookor

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Hockey Championship: Team Rivers’ Performance Excites Coach

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The Head coach of Team Rivers State, (female) hockey, Comfort Nya, has commended her players after they defeated team Edo, 3-1 in the ongoing, 2021 Mabisel National Hockey Championship (MNHC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. 
She, described the match as one of the toughest games they have played, saying that the calibre of players she saw in the team Edo lineup was intimidating.
Nya said this on Monday in her post match interview with sports journalists, after their first victory in the championship, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports in Port Harcourt. 
According to her, their first game in the championship was difficult because of the heavy downpour, adding that they could not play well but today they are awesome.
“It was a tough one, honestly speaking I would not tell lies, and the players I saw in team Edo lineup are old and good players and my girls are just upcoming.
“I was thinking of draw or let them just play but with this result I am so happy with their performance, “Nya said. 
The coach further explained that their next outing will be against team Kaduna, they are going to do more better.
“Our first game was disturbed by heavy rainfall, they could not play well but today they have performed well.
“In our next game against team Kaduna, we are going to do better,” She stated..

By: Kiadum Edookor

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