Category Archives: Basketball

Nigeria’s Evelyn Akhator Eager To Fulfil Olympics Qualification Dreams

D’Tigress Centre, Evelyn Akhator says qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo is a lifelong dream that must come through.

Speaking from her base in Salamanca, Spain where she plies her trade with CB Avenida, the 2019 FIBA Afrobasket winner said Olympics qualification and an outstanding performance is the height of any professional sports man in the national colours.

“It is really important that we qualify. It is the big deal because it is the biggest in the world. It is a big deal for me being my first Olympics. I will love to go and experience it. It will be a huge achievement to go to the Olympics, not just going there but going there to make history”.

When prodded about her preferred OQT venue, Evelyn said Belgium or France would be her destination of choice while remaining optimistic about the team’s chances of picking one of the 10 tickets on offer from the OQT.

“With respect to all the 16 teams, I will possibly love to meet Great Britain, Serbia, maybe Belgium, Spain, Sweden, China and Mozambique in the qualifiers which I believe could brighten our chances of qualification.”

She took out time to appreciate Nigerians who have continued to support the National Team.

D’Tigress Centre, Evelyn Akhator
D’Tigress Centre, Evelyn Akhator

The member of the D’Tigress team to the 2018 FIBA Women World Cup in Spain where they finished 8th in the world stressed that, “There is no women’s basketball without the fans. It is really great to have people supporting us all the way.

“I see that basketball family keeps growing daily and I really appreciate the fans for supporting us all the way. It is a great energy for us to want to push and see that people are watching women’s basketball”, she concluded.

2020 Olympics Qualifiers: Nigeria’s D’Tigress Land In Pot 3

The senior women National Basketball team has been seeded in pot three alongside Japan, Brazil and Great Britain ahead of the draw ceremony for the 2020 Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament.

The team picked one of the two available slots from Africa after beating Mali in the semifinal of the FIBA Africa organized pre-qualifiers held in Maputo, Mozambique last week.

The number one rated team in Africa who got to the quarter finals of the last World Cup in Spain will hope to join the men counterpart who had already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Mozambique who picked the second slot from Africa have landed in pot four alongside Korea, Sweden and Puerto Rico.

D’Tigress

World Champions, USA were seeded alongside Australia, Spain and Canada while Pot two has France, Serbia, China and Belgium.

The draws will be conducted on Wednesday, 27th of November in Switzerland with Belgium, China, France and Serbia to host the four OQT groups between the 6th and 9th of February, 2020.

The last time D’Tigress qualified for the Olympics was in 2004 which was hosted in Athens, Greece.

Rivers Hoopers pick NBA-FIBA Basketball League ticket

Rivers Hoopers have been crowned the NBBF President Cup champions after a resounding 97-57 points win over Raptors of Lagos in the final to book the only NBA-FIBA Basketball League ticket.

Ikechukwu Benjamin recorded 20 points, 1 assist and 3 rebounds on a night that the team under Coach Ogoh Odaudu got everything right.

The duo of Anthony Koko and Solomon Ajegbeyi scored 15 points and 11 points apiece.

Rivers Hoopers pick NBA-FIBA Basketball League ticket

Rivers Hooper’s Abdul Yahaya bagged the Most Valuable Player award as well as a place in the competition’s top five players of the tournament alongside Godwin David (Kwara Falcons), Gabriel Erameh (Niger Potters), Ginikachukwu Godspower (Raptors) and Ikechukwu Godwin (Rivers Hoopers).

Ebuka Innocent of Raptors bagged the Highest Rebounder award while Victor Anthony emerged Highest blocked shots winner.

Rivers Hoopers pick NBA-FIBA Basketball League ticket

Oyebanji Mustapha (Kwara Falcons) emerged highest scorer of the competition while the Highest three points award went to Ginikachukwu Godpower (Raptors)

Kwara Falcons are now the third best team in Nigeria after defeating Niger Potters in the third place game of the NBBF President Cup 78-77 points

NBBF President Cup: Hoopers, Raptors Qualify for Semifinals

Rivers Hoopers and Raptors have qualified for the semifinals of the 2019 President Cup National Final 8 currently going on in Lagos after two straight wins in group A and B respectively.

Hoopers popularly referred to as the KingsMen defeated hard fighting Benue Braves 91-66 points with Abdul Yahaya scoring 19points and 8 rebounds while Solomon Ajegbeyi had 14 points and 8 rebounds.

Benue Braves’ Umar Garba with 25% accuracy from the three points line sank 26 points, 3 assists and 5 rebounds.

In group B, Nigeria Army also brightened their qualification chances with their first victory in a match they won 86-67 against Islanders of Lagos who have been technically knocked out of contention.

The team sponsored by the Nigerian Army was inspired by Anthony Thomas with 22 points, 1 assist and 13 rebounds.

The trio of Hillary Aigbokhaode, Ifeanyi Eboka and Odufuwa Kayinsola all scored 12 points apiece, but it was not enough as Islanders lost their second game on the bounce.

In group A, Niger Potters battled back from their day one defeat to Rivers Hoopers to defeat the Defenders of Abuja 67-60 points after a gruelling encounter.

The early signs showed a determined Potters team who shot to 23-17 points lead in the first quarter while Defenders took the second quarter, 15-12 points. The first half ended in favour of Potters 35-32.

Rivers Hoopers

Defenders came back to clinch the 3rd quarter 18-11 but their good works were undone in the last quarter losing 10-21 points.

Gabriel Enameh who posted a double-double performance with 15 points, 15 rebounds and 3 assists alongside Lucky Subel’s 18 points and 8 rebounds were enough for the Potters.

Games will resume on Friday with Benue Braves taking on Niger Potters while Raptors tackle Islanders in the battle for the bragging right of who runs Lagos.

Kwara Falcons will take on Nigeria Army Rockets in the game that will determine who picks the second semifinal ticket.

Rivers Hoopers are up against Defenders in the last game of the day. The first game tips-off at 10:30am WAT.

Ahead 2020 Pre Olympics Women’s Basketball Qualifier: Nigeria Invites Atosu, Akhator, Kalu

D’Tigress Head Coach, Otis Hughley has announced a 12 man roaster for the 2020 pre Olympics qualifiers coming up in Mozambique between November 14 to 17.

Otis has recalled United States of America based Upe Atosu, whose last game for Nigeria was at the 2017 Afrobasket final win over Senegal.

Otis Hughley Head Coach of Nigeria’s D’Tigress

2019 Afrobasket Most Valuable Player Ezinne Kalu, Promise Anumakara, Atonye Nyingifa, Sarah Imovbioh and Evelyn Akhator have also been included in the 12-man list alongside team captain, Adaora Elonu.

Others include multiple Afrobasket winner Aisha Balarabe, Ify Ibekwe whose first international debut was at the 2019 Afrobasket in Senegal as well as Victoria Macaulay.

Adaora Elonu

Elizabeth Balogun who was named in the 2019 Atlantic Coast Conference Fresh Man Team while with Georgia Tech University is also on line to earn her first international cap alongside Pallas Kunnayi-Akpannah who narrowly missed the 2019 Afrobasket party.

Nigeria grouped alongside Host-Mozambique and DR Congo in Group A while Senegal will compete against Angola and Mali in Group B will open camp on November 10 in Maputo

According to FIBA, the two group winners will join 14 other teams from Europe, Asia and the Americas to fight for the 10 Olympic slots on offer at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Air Warriors, MFM Queens Get Automatic 2019 FIBA Africa Club Championship Tickets.

Two Nigerian Women club representatives, Air Warriors and MFM Queens of Lagos will not be participating in the FIBA Zone 3 Women Club championship elimination series having been handed automatic tickets to the 2019 FIBA Africa Club championship to be played in December.

According to a memo from the FIBA Africa Zone 3 office headed by Col Sam Ahmedu (rtd) the 2019 Zenith Bank Women Basketball League winners, Air Warriors of Abuja and MFM Queens alongside Energie Club of Cotonou have qualified for the final round.

Air Warriors

Air Warriors who made their debut in the women’s league were crowned the 2019 Zenith Bank Women Basketball League Champions after a hard earned 55-53 points victory against MFM Queens in the final.

The Abuja based side became the first women’s club to win the league in its first year while also setting an enviable record of being the first Savannah Conference side to win the league which had been largely dominated by First Bank of Lagos with 9 titles.

MFM Queens

MFM on their part improved on their 2018 season when they finished fourth under coach Aderemi Adewunmi to win their first ever silver medal.

FIBA Africa will decide the final host of the competition between Angola and Madagascar who have both indicated interest to host the apex women’s club championship in Africa.

Air Warriors

It means that no Nigerian club side (men and women) will be participating in the FIBA Africa zonal elimination series starting on Monday, 28th of October in Cotonou, Benin Republic with Nigeria already given an automatic slot to the 2020 NBA-FIBA Africa organised Basketball League.

Zenith Bank Women Basketball League National Final 8: Air Warriors to face MFM Queens

Records were meant to be set and broken and that was what Air Warriors and MFM Queens achieved as they will be meeting in the final of the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League National Final 8 on Thursday.

Air Warriors defeated defending Champions- First Bank in the first semifinal of the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League Final 8.

Despite leading for the better part of the game, First Bank surrendered their title with a 1 point loss, 61-62 points.

Blessing Kasham dropped 18 points and 2 rebounds while Chinwe Okah recorded 13 points, 1 assist and 4 rebounds in a game that went down to the wire.

Rebound Queen, Murjanatu Musa had 17 rebounds, 3 assists and 9 points.

In the second semifinal, MFM Queens defeated Dolphins.

Having lost to Dolphins earlier in their group B encounter, the Olukoya Babes came determined against 2018 finalists to clinch a last minute 58-53 points win.

Although Gbihi Cynthia scored 20 points for Dolphins, combined efforts of Ezebilo Grace with 17 points, 2 assists and 11 rebounds alongside Ijeh Ifumnanya’s 11 points gave MFM Queens the deserved win.

It will be all to play for when MFM face Air Warriors who earlier defeated them in the group B game.

In the third place play-off game tomorrow, First Bank will battle Dolphins.

Games starts by 11:00am.