Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: NBBF Plans 16-Team Zenith Bank League

The Nigeria Basketball Federation says plans are underway to raise the number of teams taking part in the country's elite woimen basketball league from the current 10 team format.

President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Mallam Tijani Umar, who disclosed this in a telephone interview with Daily Trust, said additional 5 teams to make the teams 15 or 16 this season.

He said the idea is to add bite, make it robust and add colour and glamour go the basketball league.

Umar noted that, unlike in the past yeasrs, when winners are almost predicable, the addition would make hostilities interesting, adding that there will be no more relegation or teams playing in round robin format. Eight teams will drop while 8 will qualify for the final play offs.

He also revealed that plans in place to see both the Dstv and Zenith leagues experience innovations that will give them a lift.

The new season for the men and women's leagues, according to him will start next month March after the NBBF and their major partners Multichoice Nigeria Ltd and Zenith Bank, PLC endorsed the commencement of the 2012/2013 Dstv Premier League for men to start on Saturday March 9, 2013 and Zenith Bank Women's League for March 21 respectively.

The DStv League to take place in the Indoor Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos will see games being played simultaneously same day in other venues across the Atlantic and Savannah conferences. The DStv League welcomes back returnees, Plateau Peaks and new-comers Mark Mentors who are replacing Tapgun Rockets in the Savannah Conference while debutants Oluyole Warriors will taste premiership action in the Atlantic conference. The Indoor Hall, National Stadium, Abuja will host the commencement phase of the Zenith League for Women while a pre-season press briefing and cheque presentation ceremony will hold in the National Stadium, Lagos on March 28.

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