Nigeria’s premier league for women, the Zenith Bank League which was billed to take the first jump ball on June 24th has been rescheduled by one week. By the new arrangement the teams are now expected to arrive at the competition venue on the 30th of the month while the jump ball takes place on July 2nd. The new schedule was released to FIBA AFRICA by the Secretary General of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Mr. Francis Gbiri.
“This is confirming a shift in date by just one week from the original date earlier announced. We have few technical matters to tackle and we need just a little time to do that and perfect every other arrangement that follows,” Gbiri said.
Apart from the change in date other details for the championship remain unchanged. And in that regard, the first phase of the competition will take place in Kaduna which provides some of the best facilities available to the players in Nigeria as the venue was used for the National Sports Festival three month ago. From Kaduna the next stage will be in Ilorin before the third and final leg taking place at the traditional venue of National Stadium in Lagos.
It is not certain for now if the league may still go through three phases planned due to time constraints. The format and other details will be agreed upon on Monday when the NBBF team meets with their sponsors at their corporate headquarters in Lagos. The league was billed to start since the month of February but delay in setting up new boards by the National Sports Commission (NSC) forced the league start off to shift indefinitely. The next three months are loaded with international competitions for Nigerian basketball with the ladies set to play the qualifiers for the African Women’s Cup from July 20 to 28th in Lagos. But before then there will be the Under 16 boys and girls qualifiers in Cotonou and then the top of the bill – the men’s cup in Tripoli, Libya from August 5th to 15th.
By Pius Ayinor