The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has commended the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF), led by Engr. Musa Kida, for their organization of the Women’s Basketball League Final Four, held in Lagos from October 17th to 19th, 2023.
The Minister was present at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, where he witnessed a thrilling match between MFM Basketball Club of Lagos and Nigerian Customs Basketball Club of Abuja. MFM Basketball clinched the victory with a 64-60 score, to claim the league title in overtime after both sides ended proceeding at 58 points apiece after regulation time.
Senator Enoh showered encomiums on the Lagos-based team for their tenacity, determination, and resilience displayed on their path to securing the championship. He expressed his enthusiasm about the quality of the games and the wealth of talent available for potential national team selections.
“In this Final Four, the level of competition we’ve seen unequivocally demonstrates the significant progress women’s basketball has made,” Senator Enoh stated. “The depth of talent we have is extraordinary, providing a strong pool for national team selections. The recent dominance of D’Tigress in Africa doesn’t come as a surprise; it’s a testament to our wealth of talent, both locally and abroad. When this kind of talent is available both home and abroad, the best of the best from Nigeria can beat any team.”
“We are blessed with an abundance of talent, and I’m confident that scouts and coaches have been closely monitoring these proceedings. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to MFM Basketball for their inaugural league title. Their journey to victory was filled with determination and hard work. It’s also heartening to see privately-owned clubs excelling in our sports.”
The Minister also commended Zenith Bank, the league’s sponsors, for their unwavering support to Nigerian basketball and called upon other organizations to take a cue and invest in sports.
Read Also: Francis Uzoho: One Error, Too Many
“I applaud Zenith Bank for their unwavering commitment to the development of basketball in our nation. The Ministry remains resolute in its efforts to foster a conducive environment for sports to flourish, hand in hand with private investments.”
He encouraged the other teams that took part in the League to hold their head high and come back even stronger next season.
Dignitaries at the game included Executive Director, Zenith Bank, Dr. Temitope Fashuronti, CEO, Startimes, Mr. Joshua Wang, Director General, National Sports Commission, Prof. Olawale Moronkola, alongside the basketball federation president, Engr. Musa Kida.
Air Warriors secured the first runner-up position, while Nigeria Customs earned the second runner-up position.
MFM’s Regina Donanu won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, as well as the highest three point conversion prize, while Iwuji Vivian won the highest rebound award.
MFM now becomes the 5th club to win the league title since the inception of the league in 2005. They join First Bank, First Deepwater, Dolphins and Air Warriors.
MFM and Air Warriors will represent Nigeria at the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women Zone 3 qualifiers later this month.
Three million naira was shared as prize money. MFM got 1.7 million, Air Warriors went back to Abuja with 750,000 naira and Bayelsa Blue Whales got half a million naira.