Jubilant fans inside the indoor sports hall of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, threw coach Donatus Ofuluozor, a catholic priest, severally into the air after his school, St. Augustine’s Seminary, Ezzamgbo, Ebonyi State, defeated Bayelsa’s Belary Schools, Yenegoa, 31-20 in the boys final of the Equatorial Conference of the 2017 Milo Basketball Championship.
The female category was won by Bayelsa’s St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata, who defeated Imo’s Holy Rosary International College, Owerri, 22-5. Both winners took home a trophy, cash prize of N100, 000.00 and Milo products.
The third-place for male and female categories was won by Community Secondary School, Pabod, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State and Marist Comprehensive College, Nteje, Anambra State, respectively
Currently in the conference stages, the 2017 Milo Basketball Championship had concluded the Central Conference in Abuja, where nine states in the North participated and the Confluence Conference in Lokoja, which also had same number of states in attendance, before the Equatorial Conference in Enugu began. Nine States from the South East and South South also participated in the Equatorial Conference. The coach of the Ebonyi winning team, Rev. Fr. Ofuluozor, said, “I have to commend Milo for helping basketball teams in Nigeria to develop. The competition has helped my school in the development of basketball teams. Without the competition, maybe we would not have been this focused,” he said.
St. Augustine’s Seminary, which produced the Most Valuable Player in the male category, has won the Ebonyi State finals since 2005, won the regional finals six times since 2010, before winning the 2017 edition, placed third and second at the national finals in 2010 and 2011, and then emerged national champions in 2012.
The (MVP) for the female category emerged from the St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata.
Enugu State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Charles Ndukwe, and the Chairman of Enugu State Post Primary Schools Management Board, Nestor Ezeme, commended Nestle Nigeria Plc, sponsors of the Milo Basketball Championship, for their commitment towards the development of grassroots sports.