Rivers United FC of PortHarcourt is on the verge of making history in the Nigerian Professional Football league (NPFL).
The club took a giant leap penultimate Sunday towards landing its first NPFL title with a 2-1 win over visiting Abia Warriors. It would be its first since Sharks FC and Dolphins FC merged in 2016 to form the new club.
Rivers United is party sponsored by Eunisell Limited, specialty chemicals, oil and gas production engineering solutions company in West Africa for the past seven years.
With four games left to play in the 2021/2022 NPFL season, the Stanley Eguma-led side currently tops the table with 71 points and are a massive 10 points ahead of the closest challenger, Plateau United of Jos.
The club’s next game will be played away against Nassarawa United on Sunday, June 26, in Lafia. Winning the game will be just enough to lift the trophy.
In July, the Port Harcourt-based outfit will host relegation-haunted Kano Pillars on the 3rd and visit Shooting Stars of Ibadan on the 10th. Its final game of the season will be against a vibrant Gombe United on Sunday, July 17 at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
Meanwhile, the Pride of Rivers strikers, Chijoke Akuneto and Ishaq Kayode are high goal scorers in the league and contenders for the prestigious Eunisell Boot Award with 16 and 14 goals each. They are rivaled by Victor Mbaoma and Yusuf Abdulazeez of Enyimba and Gombe United FC respectively with 15 goals apiece.
Since 2018, Eunisell has offered a N200, 000 premium per goal to the highest scorer at the end of each season in NPFL.
Junior Lokosa, the highest scorer with 19 goals in the 2017/2018 NPFL season, won the inaugural edition and was presented with N3.8million and a glittering trophy.
Eunisell Managing Director, Chika Ikenga, urged the team to stay focused and cross the finishing line with glamour, noting that it has developed consistently.
He said, “We are excited that Rivers United has come thus far in the quest to win the league and go for the continentals. We encourage the team to stay on course and cross the finishing line. Starting strong is good but finishing strong is epic.
“If you followed the league in the last two seasons, you will notice that Rivers United have been consistent, finishing in the first two positions. Now I believe with the performance so far, they can win it.
‘Interestingly, Eunisell’s involvement with Rivers United in the past seven years has coincided with the club’s improved performance in recent campaigns in the NPFL,’ stated Ikenga.
Obuah Lauds Nwabali Over Chieftaincy Title
The proprietor of Go Round FC , Bro. Felix Obuah cups he was on cloud nine seeing his former ward, Super Eagles’ first choice goalkeeper at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 in Cote d’Ivoire, Stanley Bobo Nwabali, being conferred with a chieftaincy title at his Egbema Kingdom home in the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State .
The 27-year-old Chippa United goalie was led to the ceremony on Sunday by Bro. Obuah as he first paid a courtesy call to the ONELGA council headquarters where the Chairman, at the Nzeobi’s palace in Aggah-Egbema, HRM Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics which he noted, engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad.
Sir Vincent Job announced a cash gift of N5 million in addition to a street being named after .
At the Nzeobi’s palace in Aggah-Egbema, HRM Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics “This is the dream of every father, that his son or daughter makes it to the top. When we started, I had the dream that one day if they put in their best, they will reach the zenith of their careers,” Bro Obuah said.which he noted , engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad.
A grand reception was later held in Nwabali’s honour at the Community Primary School, Okwuzi where top dignitaries including Sir Job, Chief Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly and member Representing ONELGA Constituency I, Hon Franklin Nwabochi as well as member representing ONELGA Constituency II, Hon Dcns Nkemjika Ezekwe showered encomiums on the Super Eagles shot stopper.
Rivers Hoopers Coach Sure To Make Statement
Rivers Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu says his team will face a huge task after Thursday’s 2024 Basketball Africa League draw.
Hoopers were drawn against former champions US Monastir, APR of Rwanda, and Senegal’s AS Douanes in the Sahara Conference.
Top two teams will advance to the BAL playoffs scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from May 24 to the first of June.
There will also be a slot for two best third-placed teams from across the three conferences (Kalahari, Nile, and Sahara).
“The group is obviously a very tough one, Odaudu said.”
‘’Former champions US Monastir, APR who defeated the Rwandan team (REG), who were at the BAL last year; they are a very tough team too. Of course, last year’s finalist, AS Douanes, is in that group, so we have been placed in the group of death.
While the other two conferences will hold in March and April, the Nigeria Premier League Champions won’t play until May 4.
Odaudu added, ‘’Notwithstanding, we have enough time to prepare and be there. We will overcome once the jump ball comes.’’
Since the inaugural edition in 2021, Rivers Hoopers and Kwara Falcons are the only Nigerian teams who have played in the BAL, and neither have gone past the group stage.
The former Nigeria international wants his team to be the first Nigerian team to make it to the playoffs of the Basketball Africa League.
“First and foremost, getting out of the group is our target for this year’s BAL. We are tired of just going to participate and coming back home after the first round.
“For us this season, we want to ensure we get to Kigali and be in the playoffs. Whatever happens from there on is a bonus.
SWAN Gets New Leaders In Rivers
The Rivers State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has elected a new leadership.
On Monday, February 19, Peter Abaje of DAAR Communication was voted Chairman alongside other executive members: Vice Chairman – Deinma Abaku; Secretary, Ekpor Temple; Financial Secretary, Bath Ndubuwa, and Eyo Kelvin, Welfare Officer, who will pilot the administrative activities of the association for three years.
While other officers were elected unopposed, Mr. Abaje beat the out gone Chairman, Ms Sarah Atonye David by 10 votes to five to emerge.
The election was held under the supervision of Mr. Gabriel Nwanetanya National Ex Officio, who represented the Zonal Vice President, Azuka Chiemeka.
Inaugurating the newly elected officials, Mr. Gabriel Nwanetanya described the electoral process as peaceful and orderly and charged the Executive members to live above board by re-positioning the association in the state as no excuses would be given for non-performance.
He encouraged them to be creative and look inward to discover and showcase the abundant sports talents existing in Rivers State and also appealed to them not to apply personal interest to move the association forward.
In his inaugural speech shortly after the election, Peter Abaje, the newly elected Chairman of SWAN in Rivers State, said that the conclusion of this election signaled a new dawn in the state chapter of the association and vowed to lift the association to greater heights.
The Chairman also promised to carry every member along in the scheme of things as well as operate an open-door policy.
“The new leadership under my watch would collaborate with the private institutions and Rivers State Government to promote and develop community sports as well as encourage the education of members in areas of sports journalism, he assured.
Members of the association who voted and witnessed the election process, applauded the SWANECO for delivering a hitch-free, fair and transparent election.
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