08 January 2016

NIGERIA - National U-17 Team Berth Mark D Ball Final in Style

Otukpo — The National U-17 Female Basketball team last night set up a final showdown for the Mark D Ball Tournament female crown with Sweeties of Makurdi. The team, inspired by the rebounding prowess of Ada Paul, shell-shocked Future Drive of Abuja by 44-17 in the highly entertaining second semi final contest.
Though coach Adeeka Odaudu's team is in Otukpo for some assessment before the FIBA U-17 Female World Championship in Spain in June next year, their confidence will soar if they outshoot the Sweeties in today's final. The contest had barely gathered steam when Seye Anitorufa hit the glass for two for the U-17, who then went on a run of 17-0 in the first quarter, before Future Drive made their first points off a steal by Mini Odogwu with 4. 40 seconds left on the clock. Though Joyce Ogedengbe laid up at the end of the first qurter, it was national teens that went into the break with a 23-4 lead. Rita James Happy, who led the Africa U-16 Women Championship in 3-point throws, the athletic Ada Paul, Jennifer Eze and Ene Adams, ran the court in the next three quarters to put their side into the final.
Earlier, it was Sweeties that broke the hearts of Patriots of Bayelsa in the first semi final, winning Game 25 with a five point difference at 40- 36.The girls from Bayelsa led through the third quarter, until the Makurdi outfits made a late rally to coast to victory in the fourth quarter. The game became physical towards the end as Bayelsa Patriots' Bethel Ekperigha, was fouled out after amassing five bookings. They relied heavily on Queen Ulabo and Faith Dibiya to close out the game, but Sandra Fakaa and Jane Ajokwu always forced them to be on the back foot. Bayelsa never recovered after Cynthia Famakinwa made two free throws with 1. 30 seconds left to give Sweeties a hard earned victory.

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