Mark D Ball Tournament female defending girls champions, the Pearls of Makurdi may have their hopes of retaining the trophy this year dashed as Lagos based Dolphins have vowed to claim the top prize.
Though, this is the first time the Zenith Women Basketball League team is participating at the Otukpo tournament, Captain of the side, Tokunbo Olaoshebikan is of the believe that her side is strong enough for the title.
According to Olaoshebikan, she is not undermining all the other teams in the tournament, but that her side is better prepared and placed to take away the trophy. We left Lagos for this tournament and don't intend to go back empty handed. The distance from Lagos to Otukpo is not one that we should joke with and as such, we're here for business. Though, we've not played in this temperature and in an outdoor court like this but after our first game against SAPCLN of Abuja which we won 34-28 points, we know the strength of the other teams.
While strongly believing that other teams are working strongly for the same title, the captain insists that given all the encouragement they have gotten from their proprietor and the good welcome they received, the best they can do is to win the tournament. She stressed that having watched other teams play; she can confidently say they are as good as emerging champions.
However, the same confidence cannot be expressed by Jennifer Agunweze who is not playing the tournament after she was dropped by Apa Queens. The girl, who wore a long face could not help but express high disappointment for being dropped from the team after she was earlier picked.
"I feel terrible about the way I was dropped from the Apa Queens but it only tells me that I should work harder. About three of us were picked for the team but shortly before we were to play, I was told alongside the other girls that we were dropped. As it is now, I'm leaving the court and returning to my base in Enugu because there's no need for me to remain in town when I'm not playing. To remain here only tells me that I'm not good enough for the team and it means that I need to work harder to be better than those playing the tournament."