The Women’s Senior National Basketball team will arrive Lagos, Nigeria in the early hours of Monday for the next phase of their 2018 FIBA Women’s World cup in Spain.

After weeks of training in Atlanta, the team led by Hughley Otis will have their last training in the United States of America on Saturday before their departure on Sunday.

According to the information made available by the Technical crew through Assistant Coach, Peter Ahmedu, 1 more player will be dropped from the 14 in camp before their departure.

“Presently, we have 14 players including Adaora Elonu who has been drafted by Atlanta Dreams. We will reduce to 13 players before we leave for Lagos. We will be able to drop 1 more player because we have 3 players (Uju Ugoka, Nkem Akaraiwe and Nkechi Akashili) back home for the next phase of our preparation.”

Commenting on life under the new coach, Peter said the team has completely settled in and are now focused on the task ahead.

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Coach Ahmedu described the experience so far as wonderful as he remains optimistic that it will translate to a good outing at the world cup.

“The adjustment has been so tremendous. The players are adjusting day by day while the team chemistry has continued to improve. By the time we round off here on Saturday, we would have been able to achieve our set goal.”

Peter revealed that having spent more than 2 weeks with the team, the players are now on the same page with the new coach.

“Coach Otis came with different dynamics and techniques both offense and defense which has actually helped the team. He has seen the energy and ability of the girls and we have been able to adjust.”

The current African Champions will start training on Tuesday at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.

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The last might have not been heard of the lingering crisis in the Ekiti Football Association, as it took a dramatic twist last week with the FA boss, Ayo Alabi banning six board members for five years each including Bayo Olanlege who received an indefinite suspension.

The board members who were accused of disloyalty to the cause of the FA leadership included Chief Ariyo Yomi Amos, Mr. J.I Fatukasi, Mr. Ajibewa, Mr. Ibidun Isaac, Mr. Aregbesola, all received five years ban each,while Mr. Bayo Olanlege was suspended indefinitely.

In another move, Alabi went ahead to single- handedly select the replacements for the suspended board members including a new Vice chairman. And thus, completely disregarding the rules and regulations guiding such process as clearly stated in the FA's statute.

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Sources disclosed that stakeholders in the Ekiti football community have expressed dismay over the latest development which they described as inimical to the fortunes of the sport in the state.

This latest move by Ayo Alabi, who also doubles as Ekiti state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, has been described as 'vindictive and 'political'.

According to a source, the banned members were being punished for their roles in the recent Ekiti state gubernatorial election.

It could be recalled that Bayo Olanlege who received an indefinite suspension was the general coordinator of the Ekiti Youths In Sports that rallied massive support for Gov-elect Kayode Fayemi at the recent gubernatorial election.

Written By Our Correspondent: Akeem Busari

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Adaora Elonu in action
Adaora Elonu has been appointed as the captain of the Senior Women’s National basketball team ahead of the 2018 FIBA World Cup holding in Spain.

The appointment of the former Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca of Spain player who recently got signed by WNBA side, Atlanta Dreams was announced by D'Tigress new coach, Otis Hughley on Friday.

Otis said the decision was taken in the best interest of the team ahead of the championship.

He believes his maturity and experience will serve the team well on and off the court.

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Adaora replaces the duo of Aisha Mohammed and Kalu Ezinne-Phelps who captained the team to the 2017 Afrobasket win in Mali.

The Shooting Forward's appointment was applauded by the players who pledged their total support

Elonu, one of the most experienced and oldest members of the National team was part of the 2015 Afrobasket bronze medal winning team where she was voted as one of the competition's best five players.

She was in the Nigerian side that won gold at the Afrobasket 2017 championship in Mali.

She averaged 9.1points per game and the team's high 3.9 assists.

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The Nigeria Basketball Federation has assured teams participating in the NBBF/TOTAL Division 2 League of better welfare package as the competition dunks off in Abeokuta and Benue.

NBBF President , Engineer Musa Kida reiterated the federation’s commitment to ensuring the provision of subsidies and kits for participating teams in the NBBF/TOTAL Division 2 League according to the promise made at the 2018 annual stakeholders meetings held in Lagos and Abuja.

Kida explained that the sponsorship deal which is valued at N15million for the NBBF/TOTAL Division 2 will be fully bankrolled when the competition gets to the conference phase.

With over 72 teams participating at the state and Zonal phases, the NBBF said it was totally impossible to spread the sum amongst all participating teams and states at the very early stage.

“The federation cannot run teams on behalf of their states and owners. Like we explained during the unveiling of the sponsorship deal with Total, we stated that teams will have to cater for their needs until they qualify for the conference stage.”

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Kida said the federation even had to communicate their position directly to the various states associations as regards team’s welfare and sustainability plans during the state and Zonal phases.

“To give our sponsors the needed visibility and value for their money, providing subsidies for over 300 teams that participated at the state level and 61 teams at the Zonal level will be impossible.”

He charged State Chairmen and club owners to think outside the box in sourcing for funds and attracting sponsors for their teams to make the burden easier on the federation.

Kida assured that improved sponsorship of the various leagues will mean improved welfare packages for participating teams.

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General Manager of Ekiti State Sports Council, Mr. Ayodeji Samo
General Manager Ekiti State Sports Council, Mr. Ayodeji Samo
The lingering crises rocking the Ekiti State Football Association has been described as not only disheartening and damaging to the growth and development of the game, but also inimical to the unity amongst the football fraternity in the state.

In a petition sent to the General Manager of Ekiti State Sports Council, Mr. Ayodeji Samo, and  signed by the FA's Vice Chairman Otunba A.Y.O Ariyo, on behalf of concerned Ekiti FA board members, and made available to the press,  chronicled the problems that have engulfed the FA in recent times.

The petition read in parts; " Our careful research into the unhealthy relationship amongst us, the Ekiti State Football Association Board is traceable to ineptitude and lack of knowledge of the F A Secretaries as regards the Ekiti State Football Association Statute guiding the running of football and football activities in the state.

" Since the posting of the now Director of Facilities, Mrs Adegbuji out of the FA office, it seems getting her replacement has been a tough task for the Sports Council management.

" From the posting of Mr. Olumide Bamidele as the Ekiti State FA Secretary to Mrs. Funmilola Akomolafe and to the current FA Secretary, Mr. Muyiwa Oke, the Football Association had known no peace and it has left little to be desired in the football development of the state."

In the petition, Otunba Ariyo equally lamented that the sports council boss has been supportive of the inexperienced and inept Olumuyiwa  Oke, who is presently the FA secretary.

It continued; " Till date, Mr. Olumide Bamidele is refunding the over One million and seven hundred thousand naira (N1.7m ) he was found to have embezzled during his time as the Secretary of the EKFA, after the FA account was audited internally within the Ekiti State Sports Council.

" It would be recalled that the Ekiti State Sports Council raised a panel within its system which indicted Mr. Olumide Bamidele who unfortunately, was a victim of the cruelty, greediness and wickedness of the FA chairman who took advantage of the ignorance of the young officer's lack of knowledge of the Rules and Regulations guiding football management in the FA as clearly stated in the statute led to his predicament.

" The coming of Mrs. Akomolafe was worse as the woman was hardly literate enough to write a single official document for the FA. Her inadequacies led to the FA chairman usurping the position of the FA Secretary as he held to himself all documents of the Association and treated all correspondences on his own. 
The FA Chairman treated files, had in his custody letterhead papers and official stamp of the FA, as well as, keeping the password and email address of the State FA to himself.

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The advent of Mr. Muyiwa Oke rather than solving the chaos in the association brought in anarchy and pandemonium, all because he has no knowledge of the rules and regulations guiding football activities as stated in the FA Statute."

The petition further accused the FA secretary, Olumuyiwa Oke of the following;
" That has  has never sat or took minutes in a Board meeting with members of the Board of the Ekiti State FA despite several calls for one.; that he had laid claim to calling one meeting on an Easter Monday, a meeting which notice was received barely 7hrs before time. This was supposed to be a statutory meeting where the FA Secretary would have been introduced to the Board for the first time. The Statute clearly stated how a Board meeting should be called by the FA Secretary.

" That, Mr. Olumuyiwa Oke allowed his personal relationship with his protégé, the FA chairman,  to becloud his judgment.  It has been confirmed that he, the FA Secretary,  housed and mentored the FA chairman several years back while in tertiary institution, where the FA chairman had gone for a diploma course. 
" This relationship which could have been used to strengthen the FA as a whole has however,  pushed the FA Secretary to act only on the instructions of the FA Chairman. Thus totally neglecting the guiding book of the association, the FA Statute. 
It is disturbing to note the many school boy errors of the FA Secretary also included the following:
I. Unilaterally setting up a disciplinary committee with the FA Chairman without recourse to the procedure as stated in the  FA Statute.
II. Refusing to call meetings of the Board of the FA after so many requests from the majority of the Board members as stated in the Statute.
III. Calling a meeting of his friends and those of his protégé, the FA Chairman and claiming it as a Congress where ridiculous decisions were made."

The petition noted that the FA statute clearly states how a Congress should be called and the members who constitute a Congress. As it went on to inferred that the majority of the board members of the FA, including messrs; A.Y.O. Ariyo, Adebayo Olanlege, Ilesanmi Fatukasi, Isaac Ibidun, Shyllon Aregbesola and Joshua Ajibewa, thereby requests that the FA Secretary, be posted out of the FA office within 10 working days and a new name is suggested for the position to save the Ekiti State Sports Council from further embarrassment."

The petition was concluded thus;  " Permit us to inform you that in view of the prevailing situation, we have appointed the service of a temporary FA Secretary and plan is on the way to lease a temporary FA office outside the sports council complex.

" If the Ekiti State Sports Council does not see reasons after this letter to do as requested, we shall take the appropriate step as guided by the Statute of the Football Association."

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Otis Hughley New Coach of D'Tigress
The Nigeria Basketball Federation has appointed Otis Hughley as an immediate replacement for Sam Vincent who was fired as Head Coach of the senior women’s basketball team on Thursday.
The appointment of the former NBA Coach was finalised after the NBBF leadership approved his program for the D’Tigress’ participation at the World Cup in Spain.
NBBF President, Engineer Musa Kida said the leadership of the federation settled for Hughley as it became apparent that he is the “most immediate available option.”
Kida emphasized that since Sam Vincent was not sacked because of poor results but that based on issues surrounding conflicting professional engagements, it was wise to replace him with a coach that will be readily available.
“We needed to take a proactive step in the interest of the team who are preparing for the World Cup. We needed to fill the vacuum immediately and continue our preparation for Spain.
“For many, parting ways with Vincent at this time was not a good decision, but it was a difficult decision we had to take in the overall and long term interest of the team.”

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Otis who had previously led Mobile's LeFlore High School, Alabama, USA to six state tournaments and one state title before getting hired as an assistant coach by the Sacramento Kings in the NBA will henceforth lead the D’Tigress team.

The federation is optimistic that Hughley will bring his wealth of experience to bear on the team as they prepare for their World Cup campaign.
“We still have about 50 days to train and get ready for the competition and we are confident that the time frame will be enough for any good coach to train and shape a team into a strong contender.”
He American will be introduced to the entire squad later today before their evening training session and will be assisted by Peter Ahmedu and Shola Shomala.
Paired in Group B alongside Argentina and Turkey, the current African champions will start their World Cup campaign against Australia on Saturday, 22nd of September.

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The leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation has ended its relationship with the Head Coach of the Senior Women’s Basketball team, Sam Vincent.
The decision was taken after extensive consultations and assessment of the team’s progress in camp ahead of the 2018 FIBA Women World Cup in Tenerife, Spain.
In a letter signed by the NBBF President, Engineer Musa Kida, the decision was taken in the best interest of all parties involved and the long term interest of the D’Tigress.
NBBF stated that considering the numerous conflicting commitments of the 55 year old coach which has continued to affect his duties as the coach of the team, the latest decision became pertinent.
The letter stated in part that, “The NBBF has been monitoring the situation in Atlanta closely and we are not satisfied with a lot of things. You left the National Women's Team Camp in Atlanta since Friday 27th July, 2018, without permission from anybody and you have continuously remained absent.”

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Following investigations, the 2017 Afrobasket winning coach was found guilty of abandoning the team due to other conflicting professional engagements within the United States of America where the team is currently camped.
In view of the importance of giving the team the best of preparation for the World Cup as to make a mark in Spain, the NBBF decided it needed a coach who will spend more time in camp preparing the team.
“Be informed that you are hereby relieved of your appointment as our National Women's Coach, to allow you concentrate better on your other activities,” the letter stated.
NBBF however thanked Sam Vincent for qualifying the team for the World Cup by winning the 2017 Afribasket Championship in Atlanta and wished him all the best in his future endeavors.
The board has promised to compensate him for the services rendered while with the team.
In the meantime, D’Tigress assistant coach, Peter Ahmedu will take charge of team’s preparation for the World Cup to be assisted by Sola Shomala until a new coach is appointed.

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Black Haus FC claimed a vital 1-0 away win over Y.G FC in ongoing Ikeja Divisional Football League (IDFA) played at the Alade Stadium courtesy of a strike from Tomisin Emmanuel at 7th minutes.
Tomisin extended his league season’s goal tally to five goals in six games. 

The visitors settled into the game quickly and put their opponents under immense pressure with some swift passing and neat combinations in the early first half. 

However, Y.G FC had several goal scoring chances in the first half, but could not level terms with the visitors , while the visiting side’ s defenders were able to hold them down.

The tempo of the game ebbed a little in the second stanza, as Black Haus were content sitting back and protecting their slim lead, while the host ask too many questions on the centre field, as "Seun Kuti Boys "defenders were ever business like.

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It was however a topsy-turvy game throughout the second half as both sides tried to score a goal, but the goal refuse to come.

Officials and fans of the away side heaved huge sighs of relief as the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the tough but entertaining encounter.

In his reaction after the game, YG FC Founder/President Yusuf Garba took the positives from the game and promised to go back and work on the negatives stating that his team will do everything possible to recover from their last two matches. 
On the other hand, Black Haus Coach Olatoye Olawale heaped praises on his lads for overwhelming display, claiming that their performance can be traced to the outcome of the game between their opponent who were at home.  He further disclosed that the tempo of their performance will be sustained going to their next game to move out of relegation waters before the first half of the season.

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The decision is coming weeks after the conclusion of elimination matches between registered teams from states across Nigeria.
According to the calendar released by the  Nigeria Basketball Federation secretariat, South West and North Central Zones will tip off action between the 10th and 16th of August in Abeokuta and Makurdi respectively.
For states in the South South and South East zones, they will converge on Calabar and Umuahia between the 17th and 23rd of August.
It will be the turn of North West and North East teams in Zaria and Jalingo from the 24th of August to 30th to determine teams that will represent their zones at the Total Division 2 Conference Finals.
Apart from teams from Osun, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Yobe states, a total of 61 teams will participate in the Zonal Total/NBBF Division 2 tournament across the 6 geo-political zones.
3 teams from each zone will book qualifications to the Conference phase between the 3rd and 8th of September.
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For National Finals, 8 teams will challenge for the national title and an automatic ticket to the Total/NBBF Division 1 between 16th and 22nd of September.
Meanwhile, the NBBF President, Engineer Musa Kida has inaugurated Conference Coordinators, Zonal Coordinators and a League Secretary to oversee the operations and smooth running of the league.
Alabi Adelanwa will serve as Total Division 2 Coordinator in the Atlantic Conference while Silifa Mohammed will supervise the Savannah Conference.
Ben Attah (North Central), Yakubu Usman (North East), Umar Bala (North West), Fubara Onyenabo (South South), John Fasesin (South West) and Osondu Ngude (South East) have been inaugurated as Zonal Coordinators while Victor Okoro will function as Secretary.

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Coach AlexNwora Celebrating a Victory
Head coach of the men’s national senior basketball team, Alex Nwora is banking on hard work and better team chemistry to improve the chances of his team qualifying for the FIBA 2019 world cup.
He made this known after the team narrowly lost to world number 1, United States of America at the weekend in the finals of the PEAK International Invitational Tournament in China.
“I am very happy with where we are as a team, I think we can do better. We still have a long way to go to be able to have that type of team to compete with anybody in the world.”
Looking ahead of the 2nd round of qualifications between the 14th and 16th of September holding in Lagos, he said more work is required to achieve more.
“We have a very good chance, but nothing is cast on stone yet. The more you work, the more confident you become. If we keep doing what we are doing and keep pushing forward, the odds favour us.  We will do what we are supposed to do without cutting corners”

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Despite amassing maximum points from 6 games and sitting comfortably atop group F, Nwora highlighted availability of players as one of the biggest challenges ahead of the games against Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Central Africa.
“We still have to get stronger as a team, unit rotation and also availability of players which is the biggest problem which I hope we will find a way to fix”, Nwora said.
With players sealing new contracts and some taking part in the NBA summer league amidst other unforeseen circumstances, Nwora says some new faces are expected to be called up into the team.
He’s hopeful that the best available players can be assembled and given enough preparation time to build up team chemistry.

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