23 June 2006

NIGERIA : NBBF Unveils Zenith Female League

The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and the sponsors of their female league, Zenith Bank, have unveiled the details of the league for the 2006 season. The details were given yesterday at the National Stadium, Lagos in a joint media briefing organised by both sides.

At the session, it was formally disclosed that Zenith Bank had increased the sponsorship fee to N10m (Ten million naira) from the originally amount of N7.5m with which the league started last year.

The first Vice-President of the Federation Chief Segun Erinle who represented Buba Gyang at the occasion told reporters that the NBBF was quite delighted at the pace the league was moving.

"Last year it all started with N7.5m and in just one season it has been reviewed upward to N10m. This simply explains that the league can only get better with the years. We are much better in so many ways now and we are happy with Zenith Bank and impressed by the standard they are setting for other corporate bodies in the country," he said.

The Head of Corporate Communications of Zenith Bank Mr. Timi Ejoor who said they could only get better with time represented the bankers.

'We are quite a young bank and this league partnership is also a new one but the signs are clear that we can only get better with time."

The official who said he followed closely the matches of the female national team at the last Commonwealth Games on television said that Zenith Bank was very proud to be associated with the ladies.

"As sponsors of the female league we were quite excited and impressed with what we saw of the female team in Melbourne. We followed their progress and for the fact that the league system produced the players we were very proud to be associated with the league," Ejoor said.By the new format announced by the league, the 15 teams in the system will play in four Conferences. The Equatorial Conference will have their games from July 3rd to 7th and will feature Sunshine Angels of Akure, Customs, Blue Angels of Lagos, Edo Queens and Amazons. Western Conference with centre at Akure has First Bank team, Delta Force of Asaba, Dolphins, Oluyole Babes and Bayelsa Queens. They will compete from 8th to 12th July. Savannah (Bauchi) has Bauchi Queens, Plateau Rocks, AHIP, Nigeria Immigration and Scorpion Sparks of Kano. They will compete from the 23rd to 27th.

The top two teams from the three conferences will form the base of the play off stage and will be joined by the top two sides from the fourth conference. The third and fourth teams of each zone will form the fourth conference.

The final-8 will be played in Lagos by August with First Bank's Elephant Girls as defending champions.

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