First Bank have successfully defended their crown, defeating Dolphins 84-66 in the final of the Zenith Bank Women League National Final 6 on Wednesday.
D’Tigress player, Nkechi Akashili brought her 2018 FIBA Basketball World Cup experience to bear as she scored 32 points, 2 assists and 5 rebounds to hand First Bank Women’s Basketball club the 2018 Zenith Bank Plc Basketball Women League trophy.
The final game between arch rivals, First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Dolphins was decided in the 1st half which First Bank dominated 7-22 and 12-21 to head into half time with a 43-19 point lead.
Veronica Charles of Dolphins came from the bench to lead an onslaught against First Bank with 21 points, 3 assists and 2 steals but it was a case of too little-too late for the club who had suffered enough damage in the 1st half.
Having won the 3rd quarter 24-14 points and reducing the margin to 14 points, many of their supporters present at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos came alive to cheer them on.
Their 6th man factor was not enough for Dolphins with First Bank winning the last quarter 27-23 which proved decisive in their 84-66 points win to retain the title which they won in 2017 against First Deep Waters.
With a total rebound of 11, 1 assist 2 steals and 17points made, Akaraiwe Nkem was unanimously voted the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
With that achievement, the Elephant Girls and Dolphins will represent the country at the 2018 FIBA Africa Women Club Championship.
Furthermore, a commemorative plaque was presented to Mrs Angela Olufunmilayo Emuwa by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) in honour of late Wale Aboderin for his meritorious service to humanity, especially his contributions to basketball development through Dolphins Women’s Basketball Club
Nigeria Customs win 3rd place
Meanwhile, in the 3rd place play off between Moutain of Fire and Miracles Ministry and Nigeria Customs Women Basketball, Customs came out tops 57-49. Blessing Dabor came through for Customs with 16 points and 8 rebounds to lead her team to a final onslaught against newly-formed Shade Olukoya Queens.
The Coach Mohammed Abdulrahman-tutored side who had previously lost twice to MFM in the national final dug deep into their arsenal for a final hurrah against their less experienced opponent to win.
Ebere Okeke of Customs scored 13 points, Rebecca Iritei came from the bench to score 11 points while captain, Josset Anaswen made 9 points and 5 assists. For MFM, Oluchi Nzekwe had 10 points.
Alongside First Deepwater and Dolphins, First Bank have dominated the Women Basketball League since inception.
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