Exciting times are here again for keen followers of the Nigeria basketball leagues as the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has rolled out dates for the Women Basketball Premier League, the Men’s Premier League and the National Division 1.
The 2018 League season will be held in an abridged format because of the short window before the FIBA Africa Zone 3 Club Championship Zonal elimination starting in November.
First Bank Women’s Basketball team of Lagos will begin their Premier League title defence on the 28th of October when the conference phase of the league starts.
With the recent admission of Mountain of Fire Women’s Basketball Club into the Premier League, 10 teams from the South West, South East and South South will converge on Enugu while 9 teams from the Savannah conference (North West, North East and North Central) will battle for supremacy in Abuja between 28th of October and 2nd of November, 2018.
6 teams will qualify for the National finals in Lagos between November 3rd and 7th.
Winner and 1st runners up will represent Nigeria at the FIBA Zone 3 Women Championship qualifiers in Cotonou between November 12th and 15th.
For the Men’s Premier League, Port Harcourt and Abuja will play host to teams from the Atlantic and Savannah Conferences respectively between November 13th and 17th.
The National final 4 slated for Lagos which will serve as qualifiers for the FIBA Africa Club Championship Zone 3 will hold between the November 20th and 25th.
Kida thank stakeholders
In his reaction, NBBF President, Engr. Musa Kida thanked players and club owners for their understanding and patience during the long drawn out period of uncertainty regarding the 2018 basketball season.
“We need to thank the stakeholders for their patience and utmost believe in us when we promised earlier this year that come rain or shine, the federation was going to organize all leagues before the end of 2018.”
Meanwhile, Kida admits that getting to this stage was not an easy task, but the resolve to give the players the right platform to develop and reach the stars was the driving force.
“It is really nice to get the uncertainty surrounding our domestic leagues behind us and focus on developing talents from the home front. This is not a political victory, but an avenue to fulfill our promises of giving domestic league players the right platform to develop and reach for the stars.
“We are one of the few countries left in Africa whose representatives for the newly introduced Afro League starting in 2019 have not be announced because our leagues haven’t been concluded”, Kida continues.
Delay, blessing in disguise
Kida says the delay is a blessing in disguise as eventual qualifiers will head straight to the continent, fresh from domestic league action which will be good for their overall outing.
“We will rather prefer to see our cup half full than half empty. We strongly believe that our players who will be heading straight to the continent fresh from the league will be a step ahead of other teams.”
Henceforth, Kida call on all stakeholders to join hands with the NBBF board in ensuring a successful basketball season.
Participating teams have already been contacted by the NBBF Secretary General, Asiegbu Chimezie.
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