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D’TIGERS IN GROUP OF DEATH; FACE AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND AND CANADA AT COMMONWEALTH GAMES

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Geographically extreme countries are the oppositions that the Nigerian men basketball team has drawn in the XXI Commonwealth Games holding in the city of Gold Coast, Australia in April.

Nigeria is grouped alongside Canada in the Northern Hemisphere and the ‘Down Under’ countries of Australia and New Zealand which are so nicknamed owing to their being the most southerly countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Although the Nigerian side is the number one ranked in Africa, D’Tigers are however least ranked of the quartet in the group.    Nigeria occupies number 32 in the world and will make a debut in the Commonwealth Games with the 25th world ranked side, Canada which and featured in the Olympic Games nine times and had won the silver medal at the 1936 Games in Berlin.

Hosts, Australia finished fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics and currently ranked 10th in the world. New Zealand will be taking part in their 21st Commonwealth Games, having competed at every edition.

The group easily attract the adjective of being the ‘Group of Death’. The fixtures released by the organisers will see D’Tigers start their campaign against New Zealand on Friday 6th April 2018 before facing Canada, a day later.

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On Monday, 10th of April, it will be a great battle against the host.

Reacting to the draws, Vice President of the NBBF, Babatunde Ogunade described it as a ‘Group of death.’

The former Nigerian captain said the team’s performance will be hinged on the preparation for the games and the decision of the players to step up and prove a point.

“We want to use it as preparation for the World cup qualifier in which case we bring in foreign based players to join their home grown counterparts for a longer period, get more practice and bonding time for the team.

“We will use the opportunity of the Commonwealth camping to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers of both windows.”

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According to organisers, the top two teams in group A will proceed to the semi-finals stage while the bottom 2 teams from group A will play the top 2 teams from pool B in the qualifying finals with the 3rd A vs. 2nd B and 4th A vs. 1st B.

The order of the games will be determined during the competition. The camping has since opened on Friday, 5th of January, 2018 in Lagos

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers Advance to 2024 BAL Playoffs

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Five Hoopers players scored in double digits with Devine Eke (18 points, 18 rebounds) and Peter Olisemeka (17 points, 19 rebounds) dominating the boards 

 Nigeria’ Rivers Hoopers beat Rwanda’s Armée Patriotique Rwandaise (APR) 78-71 in the first-ever BAL (https://BAL.NBA.com) double-overtime game and became the first Sahara Conference team to clinch a spot in the BAL Playoffs which are set to tip off at BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda on May 24.
 
Five Hoopers players scored in double digits with Devine Eke (18 points, 18 rebounds) and Peter Olisemeka (17 points, 19 rebounds) dominating the boards as well. Will Perry added 11 points and seven assists in a low scoring affair in which both teams shot less than 40 percent from the floor.    
 
Jean Jacques Nshobozwabyosenumukiza led APR with 16 points and five rebounds, while Dario Hunt finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. Going into today’s matchups, APR is currently second in the Sahara Conference and will look to secure a postseason berth when they take on Senegal’s AS Douanes (4th place with 2 wins and 3 losses) this evening.
 
In the second game of the day, the 2022 BAL champions Tunisia’s US Monastir kept their playoff hopes alive, defeating AS Douanes 75-69 and getting their second straight win in the competition. This is a turnaround for the Tunisian champions who started the Sahara Conference from three straight defeats, but now stand one win away from the postseason. Chris Crawford led Monastir with 18 points and seven assists, Oussama Marnaoui scored 16, and Firas Lahyani finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
 
Abdoulaye Harouna led the Douanes with 22 points, with Adama Diakhite adding 14 points and nine rebounds.
 
APR, AS Douanes and US Monastir will compete for the last two playoff spots when the Sahara Conference concludes this afternoon – Rivers Hoopers will take on US Monastir at 2:30 p.m. GMT and AS Douanes will face APR at 5:30 p.m. GMT.    

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Basketball Africa League (BAL).


Basketball Africa League (BAL)

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FIBA REAFFIRMS MUSA KIDA BOARD

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The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) has once again reaffirmed Musa Kida as the sole President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

This was contained in its latest letter dated 18th December and addressed to the Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympics Committee, Chief Tunde Popoola who had written to the apex world basketball governing body on the need to name the “eligible representative of the NBBF who will be at the (Nigerian Olympic Committee) (NOC) elective AGM and to vote” in Yola.

FIBA through its newly appointed Secretary General, Andreas Zaglis in their response said “FIBA has communicated with the board of Mr Kida concerning the affairs of the NBBF since July 2017 and has organized FIBA events with the same board’s assistance.”

“Besides, FIBA notes that good progress is being made in regularizing fully the NBBF-FIBA relationship, which remains an internal matter of the basketball family, since the NBBF is not suspended and enjoy full rights as a member,” FIBA continued.

FIBA explained that having earlier received a letter from the NOC recognizing the board elected on the 13th of June 2017 in Abuja and the recent memo of the Federal Ministry of Youth Sports Development revalidating Kida and his board, the international body has deemed it fit to accord the board all the necessary recognition.

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Letter from FIDA

The latest letter which finally put paid to insinuations in different quarters over who is in charge of basketball administration in Nigeria expressly named Kida who recently bagged a Doctorate Degree in Credit Management.

The letter granting Kida (or a validly nominated delegate of his) therefore nullified the earlier erroneous pronouncement of the NOC electoral committee chaired by Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima that no board had been recognized by FIBA as the legitimate basketball federation.

With FIBA’s position clearly stated on who is in charge of basketball administration in Nigeria, Engr. (Dr) Musa Kida called on all basketball stakeholders to join hands and contribute meaningfully to basketball growth.

He said despite the recent landmark achievements recorded by the board since its assumption of office, more ground could have been covered especially at the home front if not the incessant distractions.

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D’TIGRESS CAPTAIN, EVELYN AKHATOR THRILLED WITH NIGERIA SPORTS AWARD HONOURS

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D’Tigress captain, Evelyn Akhator has described her double awards at this year’s Nigerian Sports Awards as amazing.

The professional basketball athlete, who plays for the Turkish side Besiktas, stole the show by winning both the Basketball Player of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year categories at the 2018 Nigerian Sports Award held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island in Lagos on Friday.

The 2017 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) third overall pick by Dallas Wings warded off opposition from Odunayo Adekuoroye and Simidele Adeagbo to win the Sportswoman of the Year category. She also beat male basketball player, Ike Diogu and fellow teammate, Adora Elonu to clinch the Basketball Player of the Year award.

The Lagos-born basketball star was elated for winning the awards, describing her mum as a role model and thanked all her supporters who voted for her.

“Picking up the Basketball player of the year and Sportswoman of the year 2018 @ngrsportsaward was truly amazing for me. Where I am today is down to my role model, my mum who always gave me confidence to go out and conquer. I know she is looking down on me with joy. Thank you to all my supporters who voted for me,” Akhator said.

It was also a glorious night for the basketball community as the D’ Tigress crowning it all with the Team of the Year award.

The glamorous award gala saw Aruna Quadri crowned the winner of Sportsman of the Year award while Ahmed Musa emerged the football of the Year.

The seventh edition of the award saw the River State Governor, Nyesom Wike emerged winner for his unflinching commitment to sports as the Governor of the year.

The President of Badminton Federation of the Year, Mr. Francis Orbih picked up the crown for the Sports Administrator of the Year.

The Racket Sportsperson of the Year award went to ace badminton player Yemisi Olatunji and the track and field star of the year award was won by ace sprinter, Tobiloba Amusan.

The Para Sports Person of the Year award went to top para powerlifter, Commonwealth gold medalist and world record holder Esther Oyema.

For the Team Sports Person of the year, a member of the historic Bobsled team which represented Nigeria at the recently concluded winter Olympics, Seun Adigun emerged the winner.

The Wrestler of the Year went to Odunayo Adekuroye while the Nigerian Para Power-Lifting Coach, Are Feyisetan emerged winner for the Coach of the Year. The Discovery of the Year category was handed to Joy Udoh-Gabriel.

In the Journalism category, George Essien of Comfort Radio in Uyo, Akwa Ibom emerged the Radio Sports Presenter of the Year while the Journalist of the Year for Print category and Photojournalist of the Year were won by Gowon Akpodonor of the Guardian newspapers and Akeem Salau of Vanguard newspapers respectively

 

 

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