29 May 2007

NIGERIA : Zenith League: Immigration Lose, Sunshine Win

The Zenith Bank Female Basketball League played into Day Two yesterday as the elite teams go through the final circuit. While the other teams are battling for quality places on the table, the Immigration ladies appear to have a different agenda as they are yet to win any game in the league after 16 matches through Abuja, Asaba and Lagos.
The Immigration team played the opening match yesterday and lost by 82-52 to Delta Force.
This afternoon they would take on the Nigeria Customs ladies in a bold try for a win. Without looking into the crystal the fixture is quite an uphill arrangement for the Immigration team.
Sunshine Angels continued with a good run through the series with a 69-46 win over AHIP ladies.
Sunshine girls who were pre-match favourites lived up to expectations as they led through the four quarters. The win has kept the Akure based team in focus for a possible top four position at the end of the series on Saturday.
The Lagos leg of the competition began Sunday afternoon at the National Stadium with the first match between AHIP and Dolphins which Dolphins won at 88-42 while Amazons defeated the Immigration team 71-61 in the second match. The third and fourth matches of Sunday were well contested as the games were won by two and three points respectively. Delta Force defeated Sunshine 51-49 at the buzzer in the third game while First beat Customs 61-58 in the late night game. Customs took the first quarter at 22-6 to the surprise of the spectators but the Bankers tied up just before the end of the second quarter and took the lead. But just into the last quarter the Customs tied up after cutting down the 12-point lead. The game was thus won in the last 20 seconds.
"The Customs girls came here business-like. They were ready to play and win while my players were in a dream world underrating their opponents," Aderemi Adewunmi, the First Bank coach said.
For the Customs coach, Scott Nnaji, a stronger bench would have saved the day for him.
"Yes, we started well but when the person on the bench cannot match the ability of the player she is replacing on court it becomes a problem and you gradually begin to lose points. Our bench was not strong enough to withstand the pressure," Nnaji said.
Sunshine Angels will play First Bank in the last match of today billed for 4.30pm.

By Pius Ayinor

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