21 July 2009

NIGÉRIA : Yelwa Hawks confirmed for Royal Hoopers classics

PORT HARCOURT (Pre-season tournament) - Yelwa Hawks of Bauchi have confirmed their participation in the 2009 Royal Hoopers Basketball tournament slated to hold in Port Harcourt, Nigeria from July 25th through August 1st. The Hawks complete the list given to FIBA by one of the coordinators of the competition, Sam Ahmedu.

“After a close look at the profiles of the teams in the Savannah Conference of the Nigerian league Yelwa Hawks stood out as the ideal team for this year’s competition. Certain criteria were set and whichever club met the standard got on board. Next year it could be another team but for this event it’s Yelwa,” Ahmedu said.

The now annual tournament is programmed to take the jump ball the following day after the round off of the Royal Hoopers Camp which will start on the 22nd of his month. While the camp is specifically for the players to develop their skills, the competition will parade a mix of Nigerian Premier League teams, division one teams and two clubs from the West African sub-region.

The 12 teams slated for the competition have been divided into two groups with Bayelsa Waves, the defending champions Royal Hoopers, Delta Force and Yelwa Hawks in Group A. The other teams are FCT Hawks and Elpizo Academy team from Cote d’Ivoire. In Group B are the maiden champions Ebun Comets, Dodan Warriors, Union Bank, Lovenna Heartlands, Police Bombers and ASPAC of Republic of Benin. The top two teams from each group will move straight into the semi final stage and then the final match on the first day August.

The Royal Hoopers tournament which began four years ago as a post season competition has continued to attract top teams from across the country and beyond with the likes of Comets, Union Bank and Dodan Warriors as some of the regular entries while Yelwa, Elpizo and ASPAC are making their debut.

Pius Ayinor
FIBA Africa

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