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Rivers Hoopers Coach Predicts Tough Basketball Finals

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Rivers Hoopers head
coach Ogoh Odaudu has said that a tough challenge awaits his wards in the DSTV Basketball League Finals when all qualified teams slug it out in Lagos this week.
The two-time champions qualified alongside Atlantic Conference winners Kwara Falcons, Nigeria Customs and Oluyole Warriors from the Atlantic Conference while former champions Kano Pillars, Gombe Bulls, Plateau Peaks and Niger Potters will host the Savannah Conference flag.
Odaudu, a former Nigeria international is nonetheless optimistic his side will give a good account of themselves.
“Considering the fact that we just got off from relegation, this is the first season and we are now playing against two podium finishers last season. It is going to be very difficult,” Odaudu said as a background.
“It is going to be an uphill task but just like I always say, we are not going to go to Lagos just to go and participate.
“We are going go to Lagos and we are going to compete.” he said.
Hoopers have been placed in Group B which has Kano Pillars, Gombe Bulls and Oluyole Warriors while Group A comprises of Kwara Falcons, Nigeria Customs, Plateau Peaks and Niger Potters.
Despite the apparent strength of the two teams from the Savannah Conference in Group B, the Benue-born tactician disclosed his preference and thinks his side can progress beyond the group stage.
“Perfectly, I prefer the group that I am right now because in group A, you are going to qualify for the semi-finals but you are going to meet either of Kano or Gombe Bulls in the semi-finals and by that time, they would have played two or three games. It is better to play them now than to play them in the semi-final stages.” Odaudu explained.
He has however set a minimum target of a podium finish for his side at the end of the final play offs of this season’s DSTV Baskeball League.
“We hope to come first, second or third, that is what our target is,” he confidently asserted.
“Basketball is not played on paper. We can as well say we are going to win the final but when we get there, we cannot tell what will happen.”he concluded.
Hoopers will open their Finals campaign today against Gombe Bulls at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

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WAFU Zone B Qualifier: Rivers Govt Throws Weight Behind Angels FC

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Rivers State Governor, NyesomWike, has placed a marching order to accord the necessary support needed to aid the Jewels of Rivers, Rivers Angels FC  qualify from  the  West African Union(WAFU) B and ultimately win the CAF Women’s Champions League Cup.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye  disclosed this, Monday, in a press statement signed by the state government’s press officer, Daniel Nwankwoala.
The commissioner commended the team for its victory over Hasaacas Ladies of Ghana in the opening match of their group qualifier, played at the weekend.
He promised to give the necessary support needed, as ordered by the State Governor, to enable the team get the desired results, playing their CAF Women’s  qualifier and win the cup as well.
“The Governor has placed an order to ensure that the team lacks nothing needed,  to help boost their morale, help them perform optimally and aid victory, as they embarked on this maiden competition,”  Iyaye said.
Earlier, head coach of the team, Edwin Okon,  has expressed optimism that his team will perform even better, having prepared adequately for the competition.
“We will fight to the end, my girls will do even better job. I can assure you that, the(players) are  in high spirit and determined to win.
“I am glad that we don’t have injuries worries, so, we are set and ready to do Nigeria proud,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Port Harcourt, Nigeria representatives started  their campaign in the WAFU Zone B qualifier  with a 2-0 win against their Ghana opponents, Hasaacas Ladies on Saturday, to get closer to qualification for the semi-finals.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Sports Minister Hails Anyanacho,Offiong

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has described Elizabeth Anyanacho as a future star.
Anyanacho lost 12-7 to Turkey’s Nur Tatar in the Round of 16 of the women’s 67kg taekwondo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday morning.
Dare, who watched the bout, congratulated the 22-year-old despite the defeat.
“You’ve done well against a world champion. Keep your focus. The world will soon rise to salute you in the near future,” Dare told Anyanacho.
Tidesports source reports that he was also on hand to encourage Edem Offiong, who lost 4-1 in the second round of women’s table tennis to the USA’s Lily Zhang.
“You exhibited strength and talent. Nigeria thank you for making the country proud at the Olympics,” Dare told Offiong.
The pair of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori also lost their second Group B match in the men’s doubles badminton event against Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, while Dorcas Adesokan was beaten 2-0 by Spain’s Clara Azurmendi in the opening Group B match of the women’s badminton singles.

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We Won’t Give Up On Playing For Nigeria – Ogwumike Sisters

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Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams say they haven’t given up their dream of representing Nigeria in the future after they were denied the opportunity to play for the country women’s basketball team at the Tokyo Games.
The three WNBA stars, who all have American and Nigerian citizenship, would have strengthened D’Tigress squad at the Olympics, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled they were ineligible to represent Nigeria at the moment after having played for the United States.
“I still have a lot of pride and high hopes for the Nigerian team as it is composed now,” Nneka Ogwumike said.
“So, maybe this time around, I won’t be a part of it directly, but I certainly do hope that I can be in the future.”
“I think the fight has just begun,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “I cannot accept to being called a naturalised citizen, when I have full citizenship.
“People don’t know the extent to which my family, and myself in particular, ever since I was at Stanford, has been going back to Nigeria to help. So to have someone say that I am not Nigerian is not fair to my family or my heritage or myself. It just does not feel right at all.”
Williams, who plays for the Atlanta Dream said, “It’s really about the principle now. We’re still going to keep appealing and fighting because I think people need to understand there are a lot of us that have dual citizenship. Even if we grew up here, our households look very different than what people think, and that part of us is very real.

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