18 September 2008

NIGERIA : NBBF Searches for Host, New Club

by Pius Ayinor

The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has approached Premier League teams and state associations to host the 2008 play off games. The Secretary General of the Federation Mr. Francis Gbiri yesterday sent out letters to the clubs requesting any team interested in playing as host to indicate as such in writing to the NBBF.

The detail of the letter made available to THISDAYSport has November as the target period for the Final 8 play off and with the club willing to raise the sum N2.5m as that has been estimated as the cost of holding the event.
The regular season of the Premier League was played through without any corporate sponsorship and it appears there is no sponsor in sight for the Federation for now until at least the season is over.
And as part of the process towards concluding the current season, the NBBF's Technical Committee will be meeting on Saturday in Abuja with clubs, Secretaries of State Associations, amongst others in a bid to review the regular season and plan for the Final 8 play off. The meeting will also deliberate on the fixtures for the 2008/09 season amongst other issues.
Yesterday, the Federation also declared its decision to raise the number of teams in the Atlantic Conference to seven teams by formally writing teams and state associations in the southern region of the country to bid for the slot yet to be filled up. The letter signed by Gbiri advised interested candidates indicate interest in writing with deadline set at September 30th, 2008.
"You are advised to indicate your interest in writing and will pay the sum of N2.5m. You are expected meet up by the end this month (September)," The NBBF letter read in part.
The main thrust of opening up a bid for the seventh slot is to balance up both conferences to seven each. The Savannah Conference has seven teams while the Atlantic region has 6 with five of such based in Lagos. The imbalance, which has been in place since 2005 when the Nigeria Police team dropped out, has affected proper administration of the league, the Federation said.
In one of the delayed games of the regular season, Lagos Islanders defeated the Customs 90-86 in Lagos on Sunday.
The victory for Islanders achieved at the National Stadium, means that the Islanders have taken the fourth slot for Atlantic Conference going into the play off season.

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