26 April 2008

NIGERIA : Yelwa Hawks playing for every title

Yelwa Hawks have played two matches so far this season and lost both but the results have not changed the decision of the club owner Alhaji Tanko Dutse Yusuf to thrown in all he has into the system this term. The man simply known as Tanko had told FIBA ahead of the season’s start off that he was throwing in any resources available to him in determination to finish the season on a very good note. Two games down and valuable points lost, the man who is also the Bauchi State Commissioner for Water Resources reaffirmed his stance on the Nigerian league in a talk with FIBA.

“My position on the league remains unchanged – we are throwing in everything to do well. We started that way due to circumstances beyond our control but now we are working towards a proper run of the system which will empower us for the ultimate challenge.

“We all met and agreed to go on with the league and as far as I am part of that decision I’ll give the league full attention for the benefit of all. We have set our goals and they are achievable,” Tanko said.

Yelwa Hawks opened the season at home against AHIP Giants and lost surprisingly 60-41. Even though they also lost the following week against Niger Potters in Minna, the 78-63 performance proved a better outing for the Hawks.

“We had serious challenges with those games. Neither the coach nor I could be available for the games and so not much could have been expected. But it will no longer be so.”

The Hawks whose coach was relocating to another city could not quickly get a replacement for the managerial position. There are signs, however, that a new manager could be resuming on the job before they host Kano Pillars in a top of the bill clash May 10th. Checks revealed that Hawks are offering the coach what is hardly available elsewhere in the system.

The first step for the Yelwa team is to pick a play off spot from the Savannah Conference where there are very thin margins amongst five teams. They will have to contend with Peaks, Pillars, Niger Potters and AHIP Giants for play off ticket. Yelwa Hawks made their greatest impact in the national league nearly five seasons ago when they finished second on the overall table, losing their first position on technical grounds.

By Pius Ayinor

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