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Nigerian League

Stakeholders hail NBBF over Organisation of FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifiers

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The 2023 FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifiers tournament which was concluded Sunday in Lagos, would indeed, continue to evoke fond memories in the minds of every lover of the game, who witnessed the history made in Lagos, Nigeria.

The qualification tournament, which was planned to feature eight countries, eventually had six countries participating, as two countries withdrew a few hours before the tip-off. That, however, didn’t take away the keen and high-octane competitiveness of the games that were displayed throughout the tournament, played August 14-20, 2023, at the highbrow Eko Hotels Convention Centre, Lagos.

Not a few fans, officials and stakeholders of the fastly growing game have been waxing lyrically about the games and particularly, the organisation of the tournament.

For the record, the leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) have set an enviable benchmark for the organisation of a basketball event. As it took the tournament to an unconventional centre, away from the usual popular venues.

Staging a continental tournament at the high-brow Eko Hotels Convention Centre, expectedly, drew scepticism and disbelief. However, the ingenuity and administrative acumen of the NBBF, came to the fore, as it completely transformed the place into a secure, world-class and beautiful basketball arena.

Notwithstanding the early ouster of the Nigerian team, D’Tigers from the tournament, fans and enthusiasts took to the games and particularly, the beautiful ambience of the venue, like fish to water, as they sang, danced and cheered the teams throughout the tournament.

Speaking with journalists, the Chairman of the Cameroun Basketball Association, Sam Nduku, while congratulating all the teams that took part in the competition, expressed his satisfaction on the near-flawless of the tournament.

“Firstly, I’d like to congratulate the Nigeria Basketball Federation for taking up the challenge to host this tournament, at short notice. I must also commend all the countries that participated in this qualifier. Importantly, too, I give kudos to NBBF, for organising a world-class tournament, ” Nduku remarked.

For Ousmane Drame, a player of the Guinea team, that lost out in the semi-finals of the tournament, the organisation was top-notch, but it could get better.

“Frankly speaking, I’d say, it was a well-organised tournament. But it can get better, considering the fact that teams had to play back-to-back games, without enough rest. However, in view of the challenges of staging such a tournament, the organisers must be commended for putting in their best, he noted.

That fan favourites, Senegal lost to Cameroun in the final game, was not enough to dampen the morale and enthusiasm of former Senegalese basketball player, Madicke Sene.

According to Sene, who is the Chairman of the Senegalese community in Lagos, the organisation of the tournament was very good. And a big plus for the game in Nigeria and Africa.

“I’m a former basketball player before I relocated to Lagos, several years ago. I want to say a big thank you and congratulations to the Nigeria Basketball Federation for this wonderful organisation.

“I’ve never seen basketball played in such an environment. It’s totally a new and satisfying experience for everyone. Imagine, the players and officials just strolling to the basketball court from their hotel rooms. This is great,” Sene added.

Cameroon emerged as the best team at the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Lagos, Nigeria after they defeated Senegal 80-74 in the final on Sunday. With this result, Cameroon picked the sole ticket to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament beating reigning Afrobasket champions Tunisia, Guinea, Mali and Senegal.

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Nigerian League

Sporting Lagos to appoint Biffo as new head coach

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Sporting Lagos are set to appoint Abdullahi Biffo as their new head coach. Biffo will take charge from Paul Offor who was sacked on Wednesday night.

Sporting Lagos are set to appoint Abdullahi Biffo as their new head coach.

Biffo will take charge from Paul Offor who was sacked on Wednesday night.

The experienced tactician has managed a number of top sides in the Nigeria Premier Football League.

He once managed Kwara United, Katsina United and Niger Tornadoes in the top-flight.

The gaffer is expected to help improve the fortune of the modest side.

Sporting Lagos have moved to 11th position on the table following an improved performance in the second half of the season.

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Nigerian League

Sporting Lagos sack head coach Paul Offor

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Nigeria Premier Football League side, Sporting Lagos have parted ways with head coach Paul Offor. Offor was sacked

Nigeria Premier Football League side, Sporting Lagos have parted ways with head coach Paul Offor.

Offor was sacked following his side’s struggles in the NPFL.

The tactician’s departure was confirmed on the club’s X handle.

The statement reads “Sporting Lagos announces the departure of head Coach Paul Offor,”

“Coach Paul brought top-flight football back to our city and gave us the first piece of silverware in our history.

“Thank you for everything, coach Paul. We wish you the very best in your future endeavours.”

Sporting Lagos have penciled down former Kwara United coach Abdullahi Biffo as his possible replacement.

They occupy 11th position on the NPFL table with 38 points.

Sporting Lagos have recorded 10 wins, eight draws and 12 defeats in the current campaign.

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Saviour relishes Rangers’ derby victory over Abia Warriors

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Rangers midfielder Isaac Saviour has expressed his excitement after scoring in the club’s oriental derby win against Abia Warriors.

Rangers midfielder Isaac Saviour has expressed his excitement after scoring in the club’s oriental derby win against Abia Warriors.

Saviour opened scoring for the Flying Antelopes in their 3-2 win at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on Tuesday.

Kazeem Ogunleye and Chidozie Okorie were also on target for Rangers.

He revealed his plans to maintain his impressive performance for Rangers in subsequent games.

Saviour has netted three times in this campaign.

“I feel very excited,” he stated to the club’s media.

“I think that for some time I was out injured and coming back and got a chance to start a game and score against Katsina, I had it in mind that I had to continue scoring if at all, I wanted to make an instant impact in my team.

“I am very happy scoring against Abia Warriors after scoring in Katsina and I hope it goes on like that.

“It is always a joy to be selected as the man of the match and I feel excited and hopefully, more will come.”

Saviour will hope to add to his goal tally when Rangers battle Rivers United in their next league match this weekend.

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