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NBBF Promotes Shooters To Division One

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Zamfara Shooters
basketball team of Gusau defeated Gilali of FCT 79-77  in the final of the  National Men’s Basketball Division Two Championship in Abuja to book  a Division One promotion ticket.
The championship, which took place at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Abuja National Stadium, was organised by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).
Both teams had won all their four games going into the final.
They displayed good basketball skills in a tightly contested final game, but it was Zamfara team which edged out Gilali of FCT at the end of the fourth quarter.
The stand out player for Gilali was their captain, Hassan Abubakar who made a total of 30 points for his team.
Uche Okeke was the man of the match after he scored 38 points and also made the decisive basket that sent Gilali packing.
Coach Sani Bello of Zamfara told newsmen after the match that he was happy that his team won the final match.
“I am happy that we won, though it was a difficult game. We have been winning since the beginning of this competition, but we have once again proved to be unbeatable.
“My players have been doing very well and I am finally glad that we took the trophy. We are now promoted to the division one.
He, however, advised the remaining team to work hard and always aim high.
“It was a difficult journey but I thank God we made it and I also advise other teams to continue the way they started. Surely they will get there,” he said.
Gilali’s coach Godwin Raymond was happy with his team even though they lost the final match.
“It was a tough match, in a game there is a winner and a loser, they only defeat us with just two points.
“At least I am glad we reached the final stage and we are leading division one, we have to prepare against the next  tournament, do well so that we  will move to division two,” he said
Okeke Uche of Zamfara Shooters was  the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament.
Tijani Umar, the President, Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), in his closing remarks said that the tournament was very successful; adding that he also scored it high in terms of its quality.
“The teams played very well and you could see that even the final game took us into overtime to decide a winner, which speaks volumes about the quality of the game.
“For us that is an encouragement because this is where the future of the game lies; at the grassroots,’’ he said.
In the other matches played on Friday, Solid Hits of Nasarawa defeated Pearls of Enugu 76-49 while Coal City Kings of Enugu State beat Hard Rockers of FCT 52-48 to occupy the third place.
The championships which started on October  27 came to end on Friday.

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Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020

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Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.

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LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,”  he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as  4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.

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S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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