Glisten Academy win Abuja basketball classics
by Daily Trust
Glisten International Academy have emerged winners of the maiden Abuja Basketball Classic championship after defeating Kingsville College, Jahi 24-12 in the final match decided at the indoor sports centre of the Abuja National Stadium on Sunday.
The match was a one-sided affair as Glisten, inspired by the form of forward, John-Paul Opai powered ahead from the start to win the first half 14-8. They garnered another 10 points against Kingsville’s 4 in the second half to emerge champions.
Loyala Jesuit, Kurudu edged Raberto Shool, Wuse 23-13 to pick up the third position.
In the female category, Louisville Girls Secondary School, Gwagwalada beat Loyala Jesuit, Kurudu 22-12 in the final match to emerge winners while Pacesetters Academy narrowly edge Royal Family Academy 10-6 to earn the third spot.
A total of 24 teams- 12 male and 12 female teams- competed for honours during the two-week basketball fiesta.
Speaking to Daily Trust after the final matches, the coach of Glisten International Academy, Abubakar Abdullahi said his side was able to come top because the boys defended well, stressing that the team made effective use of the skills of Opai, who was eventually voted the Most Valuable Player of the championship,
to actualize its strategies.
The organizer of the championship Tony Ujadughele told Daily Trust that he was satisfied with the level of performance of the teams that participated, reiterating that some selected players will attend a training camp in the United States of America next April.
The President of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Tijani Umar said championships of this nature were more important to the federation than any other, adding that “this is the level where we can get things right, the right player for the right age-grade team.”
He added: “No more over-age players in our age grade teams. We can tell you clearly that everyone from now will not be playing outside the right age-grade teams. I think we have gotten things right now. There is no looking back.”
On his part, the NBBF grassroot coach, Alex Uwajeh said he has identified no fewer than 30 talented players- 15 males and 15 females- who can be groomed to represent Nigeria in future international competitions.
“I have already discovered 15 boys, 15 girls from this championship and all of them will be coming in for our training camps starting from December 2015
”, he added.
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