Team Muller over the weekend in Lagos beat Team VGC Lions 7-0 to secure a semifinal place in the ongoing NCC Tennis League with only one round robin match outstanding in the Blue Group. This was despite the sad news of Muller team member Emmanuel Idoko losing his Mum and Dad the same week of the tie.
Idoko, who has proved to be a dependable support for the outstanding Joseph Imeh, lost his mum on the Tuesday preceding the tie but showed up for his match on Saturday against Martins Abamu which he won 7-5, 6-1 only to get home to be confronted with the demise of his father.
The news caused a slight delay on the second day as the teams rallied to offer their support and condolences. Team Muller however had enough depth and resilience to complete the routing of fellow newcomers Team VGC Lions.
In Ibadan and Abuja, Team Kalotari and Team Civil Defence won their ties to ensure a make or break tie for the second semifinal place when they meet in Port Harcourt on October 29.
Team Kalotari beat Team Oluyole 7-0 in Ibadan while Team Civil Defence defeated Team Optiweb of Ilorin 6-1 in Abuja.
Emmanuel Sunday and Christian Paul of Team Kalotari won the singles matches on the first day by defeating Ganiyu Salami (2-6, 6-4, 6-0) and Wale Sampson ( 6-2, 6-3) respectively. Blessing Samuel had very little resistance from Colleen Orji whom she defeated 6-2, 6-2 in the ladies’ singles. Ikechukwu Iloputa then paired Sunday to defeat the pair of Salami and Kunle Bamidele 6-3, 6-3.
A change of players by team Oluyole on the second day did not make any difference as Paul outclassed Ismail Adeshina 6-0, 6-1 and Sunday bested Wassiu Ibrahim 6-1, 6-2 in the reverse singles. The mixed doubles pair of Samuel and Paul completed the sweep by defeating the Team Oluyole pair of Orji and Sampson 6-2, 6-1.
Team Civil Defence dropped one match when Nonso Madueke, leading by a set but trailing 5-2 to Uche Oparaoji in the reverse singles, scratched because he was feeling unwell.
The Abuja based team had however already secured the tie on opening day with Madueke
defeating Emmanuel Ikakah 6-1, 6-3 and Abdulmumuni Babalola beating Oparaoji 6-2, 6-4 in the men’s singles: Christie Agugbom dispatching Ngozi Dirisu 6-0, 6-1 and the pair of Babalola and Michael Chima beating Isaac Emeruwa and Henry John 6-4, 6-4.
Clifford Enosoregbe stepped up to win the second reverse singles against Emeruwa 6-1, 6-0 while Babalola and Agugbom paired to win the mixed doubles match against Oluchi Ozurumba and John 6-1, 6-3.
The fourth set of round robin matches will be concluded with White Group matches taking place in Lagos, Kaduna and Ado-Ekiti this weekend.
In Lagos, the fast improving CBN Futures team will host Team Tech Vibe of Jos at the National Stadium Surulere; in Kaduna, Team Offikwu will host Team Goshen of Ilorin at the Murtala Square while Team Yetade of Ado-Ekiti will take on Team Ndoma- Egba of Abuja at the Trade Fair Complex.
All ties will, as usual start at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday.