Fireworks In Port Harcourt! As Final 8 Playoffs Dunks Off


The eight clubs that made it to the final-8 playoffs of the Nigeria DStv Premier League  have begun hostilities for the coveted trophy at stake at the Civic Centre, Port  Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

The eight clubs, four from the Atlantic and the Savannah Conferences of the league each,  are drawn into two groups.

Each team will play on a round-robin of three games, with the two top clubs from each  group qualifying for the semi-finals.

In GroupA are the hosts, Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt, who topped the Atlantic  Conference during the regular season; second placed team in the Savannah Conference, Kada  Stars of Kaduna; Atlantic Conference’s third place finishers, Dodan Warriors of Lagos and  fourth placed team from the Savannah Conference, Niger Potters of Minna.

Leading the challenge in Group B are Savannah Conference leaders and defending champions  of the DSTV league, Kano Pillars of Kano; second placed team from the Atlantic  Conference, Union Bank of Lagos; third placed team from the Savannah Conference, Bauchi  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, will  bank on their continental experience in the race for semi-final tickets.

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Bauchi Nets are making it to the playoffs for the first time in ten years. Royal Hoopers  and Kada Stars, the two latest teams on the scene, are making their second straight  playoffs, while Police Baton qualified for the playoffs for the first time since they  made it to the big league.

The finalists will qualify to represent Nigeria at the FIBA Africa Zone-3 qualifiers  holding next month in Monrovia, Liberia.

Key players to watch out for are Kano Pillars’ Abubakar Usman, Ibrahim Yusuf, Mathew  Onmonya, Kelvin Nambam.

From Union Bank are players like Azuoma Dike, Onyeka Ekpete, Seyi Ayodele, while  Dodan  Warriors have  Mohammed Bukar and Edwin Jerry.

Bauchi Nets will parade  Manasseh Achi and Akpara Akita. From Niger Potters are  Emmanuel  Dream and Chigozie Nwoye. Royal Hoopers have Musa Usman, Moses Daudu, Kingsley Aguara and  Victor Anthony. The Police Baton also have Malik Tella, Kelvin Dandison in their team,  while Kada Stars have Yakubu Yusuf, Adeolu Olaiya Ojo and Orseer Ikyaator.

—Wale Joseph

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