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Basketball: All Star Game Excites Hoopers’ Coach

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Rivers Hoopers Coach, Ogoh Odaudu, says he is excited with his leadership of the Atlantic Conference teams at the ongoing 2017 Kwese Premier Basketball League (KPBL) All Star Weekend game in Kano.
Odaudu made the assertion in a statement by Queen John, the club’s Media Officer  in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
The statement said that though the Atlantic Conference selected side lost to Savannah Conference 106-115, he had fun with the game in Kano on June 17.
“It was great being at the All Star teams again. I’ve not been there for a couple of years so it was fun.
“We had fun out there even though we lost, it was still fun, and this is my fourth appearance at the All Star Weekend game as a coach,’’ it said.
It added that Odaudu believed that the disparity in the quality of players in the Savannah and the Atlantic Conference led to his team’s loss.
“The result showed that Savannah had better players than us in the Atlantic Conference and with home court advantage.
“The person who won the dunk, dunked better, the person who won the three points shot made more baskets than people from our side, so everything worked in their favour.
“Don’t forget they were playing in the core north; they are at home, headquarters of basketball so they didn’t want to give up anything for us, but all in all it was good.
“The Benue-born gaffer thinks his Hoopers players had an outstanding game and would have easily been crowned the Most Valuable Player of the game if they had won,’’ it added.
According to the statement, Hoopers’ Solomon Ajegbeyi took his impressive form into the All Star Weekend game with another double-double performance, scoring 28 points and 15 rebounds while Emmanuel Balogun contributed 17 points and 2 assists.
“Emmanuel Balogun and Solomon Ajegbeyi stood out, and if we had won the All Star game, one of the two would have won the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
“Even without a prize given, it was fun, the crowd had fun, it was interesting, it was intense, it was just a 9 points game you could see it was very close.
“And not a normal blow out where they blow 15, 20 points. It was just 9 points and it was fun for everybody,’’ the statement said.
It quoted Odaudu as saying: “The result of the All Star Weekend will not be a reflection of the 2017 KPBL final.
“I don’t think it will be like that, it won’t be dominated by the north, and there are a couple of teams that will give Savannah a lot of fight’’.

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National Volleyball League: NCS Vows To Defend Title

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Defending champion, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has vowed to retain its title in both male and female categories at the National Volleyball Premier League slated for between November 21 and December 1 in Abuja.
Head Coach of the male NCS team, Eric Kefas disclosed this while speaking with newsmen yesterday in Abuja.
Tidesports source gathered that the league is scheduled for Indoor Sports Hall, Package B of Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
Kefas said both NCS male and female teams had been training and fine tuning their strategies to retain the title.
“We have prepared both teams very well and we are ready to go all the way in the competition.
“We want to be steps above other teams as we are ready to do NCS proud at the end of the tournament,” he said.
He said the teams were prepared and well motivated against upsets and surprises during the 10-day competition.
Captain of the team, Isaac Geofrey, said they were mentally and physical ready for the tournament.
“We have been in camp for the last three weeks preparing for the league, we are not afraid of any team, we will be going all out to defend our title both in the male and the female categories,” he said.
The Secretary General, NCS Sports Unit, Samuel Onikeku, said they had set a continental ticket target for the teams, adding that the teams were well motivated to attain the target.
“We have motivated the teams in terms of welfare, all thanks to NCS Comptroller General Hameed Ali, we have also asked them to retain their title and pick continental tickets,” he said.
Meanwhile, that eight male teams and seven female teams would vie for honours in the competition with the match fixtures slated for Friday.
The male teams include NCS, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), police, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Kano Pillars, Plateau Rocks, UCEM and Famous spiders.
The female teams are- NCS, NSCDC, NIS, COAS-Army, Benue Queens, Delta Force and Kada Emeralds.

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Violence Taints Nasarawa, Plateau Utd Draw

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Hosts Nasarawa United Football Club and Plateau United Football Club of Jos on Wednesday in Lafia ended their Match Day 4 clash 1-1, with an orgy of violence trailing the game.
After the game at the Lafia Township Stadium, the Match Commissioner, Referee and the two Assistant Referees were among those who suffered attacks.
Also, Bala Nikyu, the Head Coach of Nasarawa United, was among victims of the attacks instigated by fans who felt that the match had been poorly officiated.
Players and officials of Plateau United FC were forced into the middle of the pitch till police reinforcements were in place to ensure their safety out of the stadium.
Tidesports gathered that even before the end of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) fixture, tension had heightened in the spectators stands.
There was an agitation among the home club fans about the club’s poor performance since the beginning of the new season, and a good result was needed to douse tension.
When Nasarawa United’s Anas Yusuf scored in the 43rd minute, it seemed possible the home side would record their first win of the season.
But a glancing header by Mustapha Ibrahim made it 1-1 in the 54th minute to change the match’s complexion and for the fans to begin to express their frustration verbally.
The situation got worse with centre referee Bashir Salihu’s decision to overlook a tackle on a Nasarawa United player in their opponents’ penalty area late during the game.
The angry home fans were then joined by other fans who trooped into the stadium after the match ended, throwing stones, chairs and other objects at the referees.
It was during the attack on the match officials that an object hit the head of Nikyu, who was then quickly attended to by the club’s medical team.
In a reaction, Eche Amos, the Media Officer of Nasarawa United, who expressed sadness over the incident, blamed poor officiating for the violent melee.

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Rohr’s Contract Extension Lies With NFF-Dare

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The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare says the issue of contract extension for Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr lies with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The minister gave the clarification on Wednesday in Abuja at a brief meeting with Rohr before dashing for the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the presidential villa.
Tide sports source reports that the media have been washed with news of a log jam on the extension of the coach’s contract.
Rohr’s current contract expires in June 2020 which will fall to the middle of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers.
Dare, however, stressed that the ministry would continue to give the coach all the necessary support as the NFF finalises its meeting on the contract talks.
“The issue of contract with Rohr will be best handled by the NFF, I understand the need to work the fine lines.
“I understand there is a contractual arrangement with the NFF, I will allow the NFF to work through its process, “ the minister said.
Dare charged the coach not to be distracted but intensify efforts to take Nigerian football to the pinnacle.
“Are we happy about where our football is at the moment, not exactly but we know there’s an ongoing process that we make this country a better football nation. That process is on and you are part of the process”,he added.
He  tasked the coach on working with stakeholders to develop the Nigeria Professional League (NPL) in line with international best practice.
“ More importantly your knowledge and support for the domestic league will be very important because you can share your experience with our local coaches, “ the minister said.
Earlier, Rohr congratulated the minister on his appointment and efforts to reposition Nigerian sports.
He pledged to work more closely with the minister going forward as the Super Eagles strive to pick the AFCON 2021 ticket.
High point of the event was the presentation of an autographed Super Eagles jersey by the coach to the minister.
Nigeria currently top group L of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers with six maximum points ahead of Benin Republic, Sierra Leone and Lesotho

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