Zenith Bank league: Dolphins, First Bank unbeaten


The Nigeria Basketball Federation has fixed the second phase of the 2016/17 Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League for May 1 to 8 at the Sports Hall, Ramat Square, Kaduna.

According to a statement from the NBBF, signed by its secretary general, Balewa Austin, and made available to our correspondent, all the 18 clubs in the women’s topflight league have been directed to arrive in Kaduna on April 29, while the technical meeting is scheduled for the following day.

The Kaduna phase of the league is expected to be more explosive, when the top clubs play each other.

In the first phase, which began in Abuja on April 10, 2015 champions Dolphins sit comfortably atop Group B – which includes FCT Angels, Zamfara Babes, Delta Force, Coal City Queens and Sunshine Angels – after they won all their games played at the National Stadium, Abuja.

The Lagos-based club defeated FCT Angels 97 – 60 in their opening game of the season, before further victories over Delta Force (66-65), Sunshine Angels (63-46) and Coal City Babes (50-18). They then walloped Zamfara Babes 71-27 in their final game on Monday to end the first phase with a 100 per cent record.

In other final games, champions First Bank were also unbeaten after they defeated Taraba Hurricanes 60-15, while Customs beat Oluyole Babes 70-21.

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Group A comprises First Bank, Taraba Hurricanes, Plateau Rocks, Nassarawa Amazons, AHIP Queens and 1st Deepwater while Group C has Customs, Gt 2000, Oluyole Babes, Ekiti Angels, Benue Princess and IGP Queens.

Meanwhile, top basketball stakeholders have frowned at the five-phase structure of the league, describing it as “cash consuming.”

The third phase is billed for Asaba while Ibadan and Lagos host the fourth and fifth phases respectively.

“After the first two phases in Abuja and Kaduna, they may announce that teams can’t afford to play the remaining three phases and thus revert to the old three-phase system we are used to. I just hope this is not a setup,” a top basketball personality, who pleaded anonymity, said.