Reigning champions of FIBA Africa Zone III First Deepwater defeated First Bank 63-61 on Wednesday in the first phase of the 2009/2010 Nigeria Basketball Federation-organised Zenith Women Premier League in the city of Kano.
The game watched by a capacity crowd that thronged the sports hall of the Sani Abacha stadium in Kofa-Mata, Kano was the climax of the two-day programme of the Nigeria women league.
First Bank head coach Adewumi Aderemi, who had said earlier in the year that his side would not drop a game en route to its clinching a 10th straight title, was proved wrong as the First Deepwater girls took control of the game in the third quarter and never looked back.
The defeat for First Bank was the second in six months against the Nigeria and Africa champions. They fell to Lateef Erinfolami’s charges 80-72 in the last leg of the league in Lagos last October.
First Deepwater led 50-47 going into the final quarter and held on to take the significant win.
Meanwhile, Sunshine Angels of Akure defeated Plateau Rocks 46-13 on Tuesday and followed that up with a 60-40 win over high-flying Delta Force of Asaba on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Customs did just enough to beat FCT Angels 63-60 on Tuesday, but failed to carry that momentum over as they were crushed 62-39 by AHIP of Kano. Nigeria Immigration ladies were surprise winners over FCT Angels with a 71-36 demolition.
In Thursday’s games, Immigration will be first out on the court as they go up against Plateau Rocks in the morning. Sunshine Angels will then face First Deepwater, followed by Customs and Delta Force. The day’s play will end with First Bank taking on FCT Angels. AHIP Queens get a break due to the absence of Dolphins from this first stage.
By Olusegun Ikuesan