Basketball stakeholders have commended the silver winning senior national basketball men’s team, D’Tigers for their performance at the just concluded Senegal-Tunisia 2017 Afrobasket Ball Championship.
The stakeholders in separate interviews with newsmen in Lagos on Monday called for early preparation of the team towards the World Cup.
Tidesports source gathered that Nigeria’s D’Tigers were defeated by host nation, Tunisia, 65 -77 in the final of the championship, which held from Sept. 8 to Sept. 16 in Tunis.
In spite of the loss at the final, Nigeria currently occupies the first position in the FIBA world ranking for African teams.
The team recorded four wins out of the six matches played with the team’s captain, Ike Diogu emerging as the Most Valuable Player award winner for the competition.
Giogu’s team mate, Ikenna Iroegbu, was one of the best players in the tournament along with Mohamed Hadidane(Tunisia), Mourad El Mabrouk (Tunisia) and Gorgui Dieng(Senegal).
The Musa Kida-led Nigeria Basketball Board Federation (NBBF) also were praised for their efforts in the short time of putting the team together.
However, some stakeholders blamed the loss at the final to the drop of 14 players from the victorious 2015 team. The stakeholders told newsmen that inadequate preparations also affected the performance of the team and called for better preparations ahead of the world cup qualifications. Femi Adefeso, a sports analyst, told newsmen that the team had done well reaching the final but it was obvious in the final that Tunisia was the better prepared team.
“We played very well but fell due to the over dependence on Ike Diogu, the team captain, who was astonishing in the championship.
“Perhaps a few players from the victorious 2015 set could have made a big difference because of their experience but it is indeed a big lesson for future competitions.
“The NBBF board must be conscious of the fact that good preparations can engineer a perfect tournament as it is obvious that Nigeria is not lacking in quality in basketball,’’ Adefesao said.
Also, Adedamilola Adedotun of Bball Nija said that the team did well but were little short of firing power as compared to the Tunisians.
He urged the NBBF to open camp early in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers and ensure that more players are invited in order to select the very best to represent Nigeria.
“The team did well considering it was the first time for most of the players in the African championship; however there is no excuse for failure.
“Going ahead to the World Cup qualifications, there should be early camping in order for players to come and fight for jerseys.
“Overall, I congratulate the players and their coaching crew for their efforts; they did not let the nation down perhaps next edition they will do better,’’ Adedotun said. Speaking in the same vein, Dapo Ajeniya, a fan of D’Tigers, said that the team was simply unlucky against the Tunisians after putting up a splendid performance against the Senegalese in the semifinals.
“One was hoping that D’Tigers would do what the female senior team, D’Tigress, achieved in Mali when they defeated Senegal in the final to become Africa Queens.
“We should shift our focus to the World cup preparations and hopefully invite more players without any form of bias and sentiments; the best players should represent us,’’ Ajeniya said.
According to Tidesports source that the 2019 World Cup preparations on the FIBA calendar is to begin on Nov. 20.
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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