Twenty four hours after winning the men’s final of the Bullet Energy championship, Kwara Falcons will be back on the court, this time, in today’s tip off game of the Nigeria Basketball Federation NBBF Final 8 in Lagos.
The Baba Jubril coached side will confront Benue Braves on day one of the final 8 while Gombe Bulls face Lagos Islanders, both games at the Indoor Sports Hall of the national stadium, Surulere Lagos.
Elsewhere defending champions Rivers Hoopers will square off against Nigeria Customs just as Kano Pillars will face Police Baton to complete the opening day’s four game schedule.
Hoopers’ coach Ogo Odaudu maintains an optimistic feeling about their chances in the competition:
“Our target is to win Monday’s game and then the next but we will not take any team for granted.
“We won’t feel because we won it last year then all other teams will come and give up. We will go out there and give it our all, take each game as it comes and hopefully at the end of the week we would have picked up the BAL ticket.”
The final 8 format, decided at yesterday’s technical meeting, will see each team from the Atlantic Conference play sides from the Savannah conference with top two advancing to the semi finals.
Hoopers, Kwara Falcons, Lagos Islanders and Police Baton qualified from the Atlantic Conference while Kano Pillars, Gombe Bulls, Nigeria Customs and Benue Braves made it from the Savannah Conference.
Outlining intentions of the newly inaugurated NBBF board, the president of the body, Engineer Musa Kida promised better days for the local front:
“My personal mantra is to make sure that since we’ve institutionalised in a way, we will have to build structures around that to make sure we are a sustainable entity going forward.
“One of our biggest tasks is to look at what we’ve done in the last four years and build upon them with a focus on the domestic scene.”
The semifinal of the Final 8 is scheduled for 11 November, with the final game, the next day, producing Nigeria’s sole representative to the 2023 Basketball Africa League.