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Pillars Confident Of Defending B’ball Title

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A player with Kano Pillars
Basketball Club, Adeolu Olaiya-Ojo,  has on Tuesday expressed confidence in the team’s capacity to defend their title as the 2015 DStv Basketball Playoffs begins in Lagos.
Pillars, who are seeking a third consecutive championship title, defeated the Union Bank of Lagos, 67- 51 in their opening game to signal to other contenders that they would not relinquish the title easily.
Olaiya-Ojo told newsmen that the team was in shape and would take one game at a time, having worked hard to reach the final playoffs.
“We are happy to be at the final playoffs once again, it’s going to be tough but we are confident of emerging victorious at the end.
“We are here to defend our title, we have the experience, we know it’s a different ball game with different teams, so we are prepared for the task ahead,” he said.
Coach Ahmed Sanni said that winning their opening match against a very tough opponent was good for the team, but added that the players would not allow the victory to make them complacent.
“It’s a good result, we are happy to get our first win over a very competitive side, but we will not allow that to distract our focus.
“We are here to defend our title and we are confident of being victorious at the end, however this will be done with great cautious and firm concentration,” Sanni said.
Pillars took a slim lead in the first and second quarter recording, 15-13 and 29-27 but resumed the third quarter in a blistering form outscoring Union Bank, 50-35.
The team never looked back in the fourth quarter as they exploited the poor defensive play of the Union Bank team with aggressive play which gave them the victory.
Coach Rotimi Savage of the Union Bank told newsmen that the team lost concentration and made mistakes especially in the third and final quarters of the contest.
“We started well but lost concentration at the third quarter which Pillars capitalised on, it was a good contest, we will bounce back with a win in our second match,” Savage said.
In other matches played at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Mark Mentors of Abuja defeated Lagos Islanders, 78-68 to record their first victory in the championship.
First timers in the final Playoffs, Customs Basketball Club of Lagos was able to scale through the hard marking Gombe Bulls with a slim victory of 63-60 in a tension soaked match.
High flying Dodan Warriors Club of Lagos on their own part was merciless against Kada Stars of Kaduna, outscoring the Kaduna team, 78-53 in a match that was seemingly a one-sided encounter.

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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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