23 October 2007

NIGERIA : First Bank confirms Q/final ticket, beat Lupopo 71-58

MAPUTO (13th FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women) - Nigeria First Bank basketball club Monday confirm its quarter-final ticket with a 71-58 pummeling of Democratic Republic of Congo Lupopo basketball club.

The Adewumi Aderemi coached Elephant Girls as the bankers are sometime called did not give their opponent any breathing space as they won the first three quarters leaving the Congolese with the last (14-05, 18-16, 23-18 and 16-19).

First Bank guard, Funmilayo Ojelabi poured in 16 points for her side, forward; Chioma Udeaja added 13 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists while Tamunomiete Whyte contributed 10 points for the side second win in group-B.

The duo of Lupopo's Mayindu Baketule and Kasongo Kaye recorded 12 and 10 points respectively as they continue the search for a winning formula in the 13th FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women holding in Maputo, Mozambique.

First Bank will play its last group-B Wednesday against defending champion, Primero 1° Agosto at 20.00 hours local time while Lupopo keeps a date with the defending champion, Agosto (Tuesday) and against Kenya Ports Authority Wednesday.

Senegalese Diatta propel Desportivo to victory
It was a night that the strength of Maputo-based club-side Desportivo was stressed to the limit as Democratic Republic of Congo Arc-En-Ciel searches for her first win but thanks the spirited efforts of Senegal import Salimata Diatta who poured in 23 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists to rescue her side from defeat.

Diatta who play a leading role in her national team The Lioness qualification for the Bei Jing 2008 Pre-Olympics qualifying ticket was a thorn in the flesh of the Congolese who were determined to shock their host.

Both side settles for an even score-line in the first quarter scoring 15 points each and in a bid to make a difference, Desportivo shot to the lead in the second quarter winning by 18-15 points and further extend the lead in the third quarter with a 14-08 points win.

The Kinshasha-based Congo DR determination to cut down the margin with a 18-12 points win in the last quarter was to late as Desportivo ran away with a 59-56 points win to remain unbeaten in the competition.

Arc-En-Ciel who also lost narrowly to Djoliba of Mali (52-48) will have to pray for mother luck to win her two remaining group-A games against Nigeria Dolphins (Tuesday) and Ferroviario (Wednesday).

Five matches on the bill Tuesday
Five matches are on the bill Instituto Superior Politécnica (I.S.P.U) will test her superior nature against Kenya Ports Authority at noon in a group-B pairing, Lupopo battles defending champion, Agosto at 14.00 hours in another group-B encounter, Djoliba of Mali and Abidjan Basketball Club (A.B.C) test might at 16.00 hours in group-A match.

Other matches on the line-up Tuesday will see two Mozambican sides, Ferroviario and Desportivo slugging it in a game of wit in group-A at 18.00 hours while the last match for the day will see Nigeria Dolphins take on Democratic Republic of Congo Arc-En-Ciel as both sides continues its search for a winning formula.

Coaches met Thursday
Coaches will gather for a crucial meeting Thursday at the Instituto Superior Polytéchnica (I.S.P.U) to discuss how best to harness their trade.
According to FIBA Africa Coaching Instructor, Samuel Wanjobi from Kenya says the purpose of the meeting is to look at the FIBA Training/Development Programme for Coaches in Africa.

Wanjobi appealed to coaches and assistant coaches of the eleven teams and other club in Mozambique to seize the opportunity to by attending the meeting.
The meeting is slated for 16.00 hours local time.

By Olusegun Ikuesan

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