Mark Mentors Basket
ball Club of Abuja emerged the national champions of the 2015 DStv Premier League Basketball season after an impressive performance to unseat the defending champions Kano Pillars, 79-66.
Mark Mentors, who had lost to Kano Pillars in the finals of the 2014 edition, played with a lot of determination to to rattle the former champions.
The new champions took the first and second quarters, 25-16 points and 41-33 points and undoubtedly showed better skills and understanding to end the first half in their favour.
Mark Mentors Abdul Yahaya, Stanley Gumut, Victor Koko and Moses Daudu exceptional performances ensured that Kano Pillars never had a chance to play their kind of game.
The quartet scored 24, 13, 16 and 10 respectively to claim the championship trophy for the first time in their four years of existence.
An elated Abdul Yahaya told newsmen after the match that it feels great to be champions and achieved it through hard work.
‘’We had our game plans and all we needed to do was keep our focus and continue the way we began.
‘’We did not play with pressure, we were confident from the onset that we were going to achieve this and we are happy to do that in the end.
‘’The next thing for us is to prepare well for a successful outing in the continental championship,’’ Yahaya said
Yahaya received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for his role in emergence Mark Mentors as championship.
Kano Pillar’s forward player, Abubakar Usman, however expressed disappointment over their defeat by Mark Mentors and blamed it on poor preparations.
‘’We were not well prepared for the championship; the way we played all through was very obvious that something was just not right.
‘’We struggled in all the games we played and we are lucky to even reach the final, indeed it is a big lesson for us,’’ Usman said.
Both teams automatically qualify to represent the country in the Afrobasket Continental Club Championship coming up later in the year.
Meanwhile in the third place match, Gombe Bulls beat Union Bank Basketball Club of Lagos, 63-53 to win the third place trophy.
Dodan Warriors of Lagos, Kada Stars of Kaduna, Nigeria Customs of Lagos and Lagos Islanders came fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth in the classification matches.
The final eight championship playoffs was played at the National stadium, Lagos.
CAF Mulls Super League Idea
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.
NPFL: Rivers United’s Coach Praises Players
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
Hockey Championship: Team Rivers’ Performance Excites Coach
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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