This Day (Lagos)

1 February 2013

Nigeria: Babalola Charges Oluyole Warriors, First Deepwater B'ball Teams

Chairman of Oyo State Basketball Association (OSBA), Babatunde Babalola, has urged newly promoted Oluyole Warriors Basketball Club to work hard ahead of the 2012/ 2013 DStv Premier Basketball League season which is expected to dunk-off this month.

Speaking Thursday in Lagos, the oil and gas mogul charged the Oluyole Warriors to remain focused and work towards picking one of the four slots in the Atlantic Conference for the final-8 playoffs.

He promised the Ibadan side maximum support from the association.

Babalola urged the coaching crew to go for tested players with vast experience so that the club would be a force to reckon with in the Atlantic Conference in particular and the league in general.

The Chief Executive Officer of First Deepwater Discovery Limited, the parent club of reigning Nigeria Women league champion, First Deepwater Basketball Club, also charged the coaching crew of the three-time champion led by Coach Lateef Erinfolami to remain focused ahead the start of the women league.

"First Deepwater Basketball Club must double its effort so as to retain the league title and qualify for continental engagement again.

"We must stay focused and be ready to dominate the women league once again," Babalola said.

"We are also looking at the possibility of hosting a befitting final round of the Africa Champions Cup for Women and we believe with the support of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and all stakeholders of the game we can bring honours to Nigeria through the hosting and the performance of our team.

"Hosting the Africa championship will help to increase Nigeria teams' participation in the continent most prestigious women club competition as First Deepwater Basketball Club will be exempted from playing the qualifiers which will indirectly give additional spot to two other Nigerian club-sides," he said.

The soft-spoken businessman said bountiful rewards await players and officials of Oluyole Warriors Basketball Club if they are able to make it to the final-8 in their first outing at the DStv Premier Basketball League after missing out of the Nigeria top-flight league for 14 years and First Deepwater Basketball Club if they can win the women league for a record fourth time and a good showing at the Africa Champions Cup for Women.

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