Nigeria Basketball Premier League Finally Begins
By Anulika Menanya, Lagos.
The long awaited Nigeria Basketball Premier League is commencing in grand style in the capital city Abuja and the State of Sunshine, Akure in Ondo State today 8 September 2021.
22 teams will take part in the championship with 11 teams from the Atlantic conference holding in Akure, while Abuja will host the other 11 in the Savannah Conference.
Rivers Hoopers, Kwara Falcons, Raptors, Police Baton, Ondo Raiders, Islanders, Coal City, Impressions, CAMAC, Invaders and Lagos Warriors will slug it out at the Akure Township stadium.
The Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja will play host to Kano Pillars, Niger Potters, Gombe Bulls, Customs, Reformers, Benue Braves, Nigeria Army, City Chiefs, Plateau Peaks and Bauchi Nets in the Savannah conference.
The Premier Basketball League has been on hold due to a lingering leadership crisis between the Musa Kida and the Tijani Umar factions. The crisis led to a court order stopping the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), from organising the League which was last staged in 2017/2018.
But in January, a High Court sitting in Abuja threw the case out saying it lacked merit with the judge saying it was needless to go into substantive issues brought before it after the preliminary objections of the plaintiffs were granted.
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Even though, Kida was given the all clear to head the basketball body and the power to organise the premier League, the commencement of the league was still delayed, with the president claiming a lack in sponsorships.
Addressing Journalists in a media parley in Abuja, the Chairman Caretaker Committee of the NBBF Musa Kida, said all things are in place to have a better 2021 Nigeria Basketball Premier League. According to him, all hands are on deck to commence the Basketball Premier League in both the Atlantic and Savannah conferences.
“The Secretariat is responsible for dispatching letters to the various clubs and that is the reason why the League is starting in Abuja,” Kida said.
In a communiqué issued to all clubs, refusal to honor the 2021 invitation will lead to automatic relegation to the Total Division One. Players who competed at the just concluded Total National Division One and Two are status barred from competing in the premier league.
The Gombe Bulls will lock horns with Defenders by 10:00 am, while the Nigeria Customs will play Benue Braves by 12:45pm. Gboko City Chiefs will tackle Reformers by 2:45pm, while the final game of the day will be between Nigerian Army and Kano Pillars by 4:45pm.
The winner of the championships will claim the sole ticket for the 2021 NBA/FIBA Basketball African League.