20th September, 2010
The eight clubs that made it to the final-8 playoffs of the Nigeria DStv Premier LeagueÂ have begun hostilities for the coveted trophy at stake at the Civic Centre, PortÂ Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
The eight clubs, four from the Atlantic and the Savannah Conferences of the league each,Â are drawn into two groups.
Each team will play on a round-robin of three games, with the two top clubs from eachÂ group qualifying for the semi-finals.
In GroupA are the hosts, Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt, who topped the AtlanticÂ Conference during the regular season; second placed team in the Savannah Conference, KadaÂ Stars of Kaduna; Atlantic Conferenceâ€™s third place finishers, Dodan Warriors of Lagos andÂ fourth placed team from the Savannah Conference, Niger Potters of Minna.
Leading the challenge in Group B are Savannah Conference leaders and defending championsÂ of the DSTV league, Kano Pillars of Kano; second placed team from the AtlanticÂ Conference, Union Bank of Lagos; third placed team from the Savannah Conference, BauchiÂ Nets of Bauchi and fourth placed Atlantic Conference side, Police Baton of Lagos.
Four of the eight clubs; Kano Pillars, Union Bank, Dodan Warriors and Niger Potters, willÂ bank on their continental experience in the race for semi-final tickets.
Bauchi Nets are making it to the playoffs for the first time in ten years. Royal HoopersÂ and Kada Stars, the two latest teams on the scene, are making their second straightÂ playoffs, while Police Baton qualified for the playoffs for the first time since theyÂ made it to the big league.
The finalists will qualify to represent Nigeria at the FIBA Africa Zone-3 qualifiersÂ holding next month in Monrovia, Liberia.
Key players to watch out for are Kano Pillarsâ€™ Abubakar Usman, Ibrahim Yusuf, MathewÂ Onmonya, Kelvin Nambam.
From Union Bank are players like Azuoma Dike, Onyeka Ekpete, Seyi Ayodele, whileÂ DodanÂ Warriors haveÂ Mohammed Bukar and Edwin Jerry.
Bauchi Nets will paradeÂ Manasseh Achi and Akpara Akita. From Niger Potters areÂ EmmanuelÂ Dream and Chigozie Nwoye. Royal Hoopers have Musa Usman, Moses Daudu, Kingsley Aguara andÂ Victor Anthony. The Police Baton also have Malik Tella, Kelvin Dandison in their team,Â while Kada Stars have Yakubu Yusuf, Adeolu Olaiya Ojo and Orseer Ikyaator.