Chinedu Paschal provided huge fireworks to help underdogs Amuwo Spikers win the maiden edition of Lekki Volleyball Club LVC Thunder Games yesterday 15 October 2022 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium Lagos.
Voted The Most Valuable Player of the championship Paschal delivered hot serves, spikes and blocked convincingly, which ensured Amuwo’s 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-22) win over Lekki Cruisers in the men’s final match.
Amuwo didn’t drop a single set from the group stage to the final game, and team captain Henry Trust couldn’t hide his admiration for the excellent performance.
According to Trust they did their homework on how to tackle Cruisers in the final:
“For the final we had some key players in that Lekki Team that we had to pin down. Like the guy that got the best spiker award Ebuka and others. Those were our main target and strategy that if we could stop those guys from getting into their form and stride, definitely the game would be easier for us.”
As the game became increasingly difficult for Cruisers they deployed more spiking firepower upfront which Amuwo Spikers had answers to.
“We had one or two players, wonderful players like our blockers, they were actually good in the game,” continued Trust.
“We made sure we didn’t allow them to attack us. So the strategy was as we are blocking them, we will be attacking. As you could see from the game, even when we were losing in the first set, we relied on our blockers. That was how we progressed and passed them.”
The women’s final, interrupted by rain, served up another thrilling affair for the packed audiences.
Keystyle Travels Spikers were too hot to handle as they spiked Legacy VC into submission 3-1 (17-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23) to lift the women’s trophy.
The presence of national team coaches at the Thunder Games may have inspired the crowd lifting performances from some of the players.
Coaches Sanni, Taiye and Segun were on ground to scout for new players who could be invited to the 2nd phase of national team camping; the first phase is underway in Kaduna.
With the jaw dropping exploits at the Lekki Thunder games in Lagos, the coaches must have seen quite a lot to take note of.
Commenting on the level of play during the games, Cruisers’ opposite hitter Prince Okechukwu highlighted what made the competition hugely competitive:
“It’s not a jamboree, it’s for professionals only. Most of the teams that attended this particular competition, some of them are state teams, some of them are teams in the premier League teams, so it’s not like a Lagos thing, it’s a national competition.
“There is the Ondo team here, there is the Kwara team, there is the OFFA team that won the premier league, unfortunately they are out.
It’s a very serious competition.”
Both final winners of the competition received One million Naira(N1000,000) each while half a million Naira(N500,000) went to Sunshine Spikers and Lekki Cruisers who respectively won the men’s and women’s 3rd place playoffs.
A total of 16 male and 12 female Volleyball teams participated in the competition.
In terms of what to expect from subsequent editions of the Thunder Games, one of the organisers of the Championship and a board member of Lekki VC, Kenechukwu Charles Okafor provides insights:
“The plan is to make this an annual event. This is our first event, and the way it has turned out, the reception is great, the fans are great, the energy is very intense. Next year it’s going to better than this.
Individual awards (men) at the just concluded LVC Thunder Games in Lagos –
Most Player (MVP)- Chinedu Pascal (Amuwo Spikers)
Best Attacker- Ebuka anachuna (Lekki Cruisers)
Best Blocker- Uchenna Austin (Logistics Spikers)
Best Setter- Bruno Ibeh (Amuwo Spikers)
Best Libero- Afun Idown (Sunshine Spikers)
Individual awards (women) at the just concluded LVC Thunder Games in Lagos–
Most Valuable Player (MVP)- Maryam Ibrahim (Keystyle Travels)
Best Blocker- Mary Gana (Keystyle Travels)
Best Setter- Anthonia Akinpelu (Lekki Cruisers)
Best Attacker- Ijeoma Ukpachi (Lekki Cruisers)
Best Libero- Valentine Ogadimma (Golden Spikers)
Best Setter award by Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi- Sharon Achi (Legacy VC)
Ifunanya Udeagbala (Young Raw Talent Award)