17 September 2010

NIGERIA : DStv PL Playoffs: Fire work starts in Port Harcourt

by Olusegun Ikuesan)
The eight clubs that made it to the final-8 playoffs of the Nigeria DStv Premier League have perfected strategy to out do one another as the playoffs dunks-off on Sunday at the Civic Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The eight clubs four from each of the Atlantic and the Savannah conference of the league are drawn in two groups where each team will play on a round-robin of three games each with the two top club from group qualifying for the semi-finals.

In group-A is host Royal Hoopers basketball club of Port Harcourt who topped the Atlantic conference during the regular seaon, second placed team in the Savannah conference Kada Stars basketball club of Kaduna, Atlantic conference third place finisher, Dodan Warriors basketball club of Lagos and fourth placed team from the Savannah conference Niger Potters basketball club of Minna.

Leading the challenge in group-B is Savannah conference leader and defending champion of the DStv league, Kano Pillars basketball club of Kano, second placed team from the Atlantic conference Union Bank basketball club of Lagos, third placed team of the Savannah conference Bauchi Nets basketball club of Bauchi and fourth placed Atlantic conference side Police Baton basketball club of Lagos.

In Day-1 of the playoffs slated for Sunday at the Civic Centre Dodan Warriors basketball club will take on Niger Potters basketball club at 12H00, defending champion Kano Pillars basketball club will slug it out against Union Bank basketball club at 14H00, Bauchi Nets basketball club and Police Baton basketball club will take their turn at 16H00 while home side Royal Hoopers basketball club battles Kada Stars basketball club of Kaduna at 18H00.

Four of the eight clubs (Kano Pillars, Union Bank, Dodan Warriors and Niger Potters) will bank on their continental experience in the race for a semi-final tickets, Bauchi Nets is making it to the playoffs for the first time in ten years, Royal Hoopers and Kada Stars the two latest team on the scene are making their second straight playoffs while Police Baton basketball club qualified for the playoffs for the first time since they made it to the big league.

The finalist will qualify to represent Nigeria at the FIBA Africa Zone-3 qualifiers holding next month in Monrovia, Liberia.

Key players to watch out for: Kano Pillars - Abubakar Usman, Ibrahim Yusuf, Mathew Onmonya, Kelvin Nambam. Union Bank - Azuoma Dike, Onyeka Ekpete, Seyi Ayodele. Dodan Warriors Mohammed Bukar, Edwin Jerry. Bauchi Nets Manasseh Achi and Akpara Akita. Niger Potters Emmanuel Dream and Chigozie Nwoye. Royal Hoopers Musa Usman, Moses Daudu, Kingsley Aguara and Victor Anthony. Police Baton Malik Tella, Kelvin Dandison. Kada Stars Yakubu Yusuf, Adeolu Olaiya Ojo and Orseer Ikyaator.

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