The 10 teams billed to battle in Umuahia at the South East Zonal qualifiers have been charged to brace up for the competition, which jumps off on August 17 and ends on August 23.
The 10 teams have also been assured of a conducive environment to exhibit their skills at the competition, where the best two sides will qualify for the national finals.
Speaking at the weekend on the competition, the South East Representative on the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Osita Nwachukwu reminded the teams that the event is the start of a new chapter in the players’ lives and the road to the finals of the division.
The former international basketballer commended the government and people of Abia State for accepting to host the qualifiers, even at short notice, adding that accepting the hosting right showed that Abia State people are loving and accommodating.
He reiterated his promise that no state would “be left behind in the development of basketball in the zone which was in my manifesto.
I truly believe in what the states can do if we give them the opportunity as we have seen in the past in Enugu and Imo, which hosted different competitions and made the best out of them by turning the championships into carnival to the delight of the fans and players. Umuahia will not be an exception.”
The 10 teams billed to feature in the competition are Abia Stars and Abia Eclipse, Palos Verdes and Titans Academy of Anambra State, Mid-town Shot Academy and Santa Gbagbaty Basketball Academy from Ebonyi State, Enugu State’s Coal City Kings and Dragon knights, as well as Heartland and ICAN Academy, both from Imo State.
Two teams from the 10 sides will qualify to join the successful sides from the other zones in the conference finals.
Going by the NBBF programme, the zonal qualifiers will start with teams from the South West and North Central Zones battling for final tickets from August 10 to 16 in Abeokuta and Makurdi respectively, before the South East and South South enter the fray from August 17 to 23 in Umuahia and Calabar respectively.
From the August 24 to 30, it would be the turn of teams from the North West and the North East in Zaria and Jalingo respectively.
A total of 61 teams will take part in the zonal finals across the six geo-political zones of the federation.
From September 3 to 8, the two successful teams from the six zones will move to the conference finals from which eight teams will emerge to battle in the national finals from December 16 to 22.
The winners will qualify for the Total/NBBF Division Two League.
Source: G Sport