THE final phase of the DStv/NBBF Premier Basketball League begins today at the sports hall of the National Stadium, Lagos with Union Bank, Dodan Warriors, Kano Pillars and Mark Mentors battling for the top prize.
According to the League Director, Muktar Khaleh, the final phase of the league would be played in a round-robin format with the team with the highest number points emerging the winner.
He stated that the winning team would go home with N1m while the second and third placed teams would get N750, 000 and N500, 000 respectively. He also said that individual awards would be given to deserving players at the end of the competition.
Khaleh, who is also the Vice President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), said that the winner and the second place team would represent Nigeria at the African Club Championship in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from November 29 to December 8.
He enjoined the teams to adhere to the rules governing the game, as they fight for the trophy. “We (NBBF) wish the teams success and hope that they will give the fans something to savour.”
General Manager, Sales and Marketing of Multichoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho, said that plans have been finalised to get the fans to the stand next season. He said the empty stands have been a source of worry for Multichoice and the NBBF.
According to him, entertainment would be brought into the league while games would also be played at venues where fans are readily available to watch games. He said that the idea of playing matches at outdoor venues where also considered but was dropped due to adverse weather condition.
Mabutho noted that his outfit was committed to the development of basketball in the country and would see out its contract with the NBBF. “Our aim is to partner the NBBF in developing basketball in Nigeria and that is why we have given our support to the game over the years.
NBBF President, Tijani Umar, also commended the teams for their endeavour throughout the season and called on the teams involved in the final round of the league to give their best. He also commended DStv for supporting basketball.