26 June 2007

NIGERIA : D'Warriors Win Lagos City Basketball League

By Pius Ayinor

Dodan Warriors, clearly against all predictions, humbled the Union Bank Club to win the third edition of the Lagos City Basketball League late Sunday. The Warriors won the third match of the three-game series 84-75 to win their first major title since they joined the national premier league system in 1996.

"Everything aside the Warriors players were hungry. They came in played like people who were eager to win and nobody wins any event when your heart does not desire it hungrily," Ayinla Johnson (BBJ), the Union Bank coach told THISDAYSports after the match played at the Sports Hall of the National Stadium.The Union Bank players had taken the first leg last Thursday at a narrow 92-91 but the slim gap may have emboldened the Warriors who then won the second match played on Saturday 82-71. The Lagos State officials, owners of the league, who had brought the trophy on standby were therefore forced to withdraw it and automatically made provisions for another game.

Basketball fans practically prayed for a third game while Game Two lasted on Saturday just as Union Bank team struggled to make it a clean sweep of two straight wins. The struggle took it toll on Sunday as the younger and fitter Warriors players seemed ready to play for eternity while their opponents showed great signs of tiredness. The final series losers incidentally defeated the Warriors in both regular seasons game. The Bankers only dropped a game to Ebun Comets in the regular season and were thus highly voted by analysts to win the league.

Dodan Warriors got a trophy and N100, 000 for their position while their point guard Daniel Dauda was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Union Bank got N75, 000 while the third best team who were also the defending champions, Kenny's Bullet won N50, 000.

The Lagos City which began in 2005 is specially designed for Lagos based teams and featured 12 teams in the regular season which began last April. This year it featured all the national Premier League teams with the exception of the Customs, with their full complement of players.

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