05 July 2008

NIGERIA : AHIP Queens Check Customs

Zenith League

It is clearly a season of upsets in the Zenith Bank League as every day has provided an upset result since the final round began in Lagos last Thursday. Yesterday it was the turn of AHIP Queens of Kano as they upturned the Customs women with a 69-62 beating. It was the first match of the day and provided an early morning shocker for the Customs who entered the league system more than a decade before AHIP came into existence.
The Customs coach Mohammed Jagu Abba reeled out the excuse analysts have heard from the team in both the male and female competitions in the last three weeks.
“As people would have noticed the officers are not here today; they are all attending to jobs in the office. We held ourselves together and won matches when we had a full squad. But now we seriously depleted and that is the reason we are struggling but we are determined to finish in Lagos at a very respectable position,” he said.
The AHIP ladies, who are placed at the 9th position in the 10-team league, were not expected to do so well against the Customs at the fifth position but it appears the younger players from Kano were encouraged by other results from Day One when smaller teams have triumphed to the amazement of stronger opponents. They started forcefully and soon took the lead and held on tenaciously to the buzzer.
They were rewarded with applause and a collection of new fans for their effort.
But the morning shocker could not continue into the next game as Delta Force levelled Plateau Rocks 66-41 immediately afterwards. The game was fully controlled by the winners from the start to the buzzer.
First Bank girls followed suit and thrashed Nigeria Immigration team 87-30 in a game spectators knew exactly who would win the match as early as the first quarter.
The win kept the Elephant Girls steadily on top of the table after 24 matches.
Today the FCT Angels, who are still in search of their first win, will face the Customs in the opening match hoping to emulate the AHIP Queens. The second match is for those at the other end of the table Plateau Rocks and Immigration battling for supremacy. The star match is the last game between Dolphins and Delta Force. It is an open ended game.
In the men’s Premier League Yelwa Hawks will continue with their road games as they face the Customs hoping for a win on the road.

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