8th December, 2010
Nigeria two representatives to the FIBA-Africa Champions Cup for Men dunking offÂ this weekend in Cotonou, Benin Republic, are optimistic of giving good accounts ofÂ themselves.
Kano Pillars Basketball Club Head Coach, Sani Ahmed said the team are out thisÂ season to improve on their rating in the championship. The club finished fifth inÂ the last two editions of the club championship.
Ahmed, whose team are the Nigeria Premier League champions, disclosed on telephoneÂ from his teamâ€™s camp in Kano that the players are in good shape and are respondingÂ to training ahead of the biggest club championship on the continent.
â€œWe are aimingÂ to play the grand finale on 19 December 2010. Our main objective isÂ to fight for the African title and we know what it takes. So, we are prepared toÂ give any team a run for their money when the championship gets underway thisÂ weekend.
“The players, fans and the management of the team are tired of seeing us finishingÂ fifth every- time,â€ assistant coach of the senior National Team, Dâ€™Tigers said.
Also, Coach of Royal Hoopers Basketball Club of Port Harcourt, Ogoh Odaudu, whoseÂ team defeated Bauchi Nets Basketball Club of Minna twice last week in preparationÂ for the final round of the Club Championship, also expressed confidence in the team.
The former International said: “Having come on stream in the DSTV league in 2009 andÂ making our debut in the continent this year, we are prepared for the championship.Â We are working hard to make our management, sponsors, fans and the entire countryÂ proud,â€ he said.
Odaudu described their two victories of 73-65 and 80-61points over the PremiershipÂ side, Bauchi Nets in Bauchi as a welcome development, adding that there is anÂ improvement in the team. He said the players now work more together.
He also said that the experience acquired at the FIBA-Africa Zone-3 Qualifiers inÂ Monrovia, Liberia last month, where they finished second behind rivals, Pillars,Â will help the team when hostilities begin this weekend.
Primeiro de Agosto are the reigning Africa champions.
â€” Wale Joseph