The second phase of the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League is expected to begin today at the basketball court of the Asaba Township Stadium, Delta State as the race for the final-8 playoff gathers momentum.
The flagship Nigerian women league organised by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) will involve 18 clubs paired into Group A and Group B.
Defending champion, Dolphins Basketball Club will look to consolidate its hold of group-A as it will do battles against eight other teams in the group which comprises of four-time champions of the league, First Deepwater basketball who is currently placed fifth in the group with three wins from eight games played at the first phase in Abuja.
Other teams in group-A are host of second phase Delta Force basketball club, Nigeria Customs basketball team, GT 2000 of Kaduna, Zamfara Babes, AHIP Queens of Kano Oluyole Babes of Ibadan and Nigeria Immigration basketball team.
Leading group-B is Nigeria most decorated women team, First Bank basketball club with six titles of the Zenith Bank Women league, the Elephant Girls is set to continue from where it left off from the Abuja-First-Phase but might face some opposition from rejuvenated IGP Queens of Lagos.
Others in the group that might want to challenge the dominance of the two-time Africa Champions includes inform Plateau Rocks of Jos, Benue Princess, FCT Angels of Abuja, Sunshine Angels of Akure, Nasarawa Amazons, Taraba Hurricanes and Enugu Coal City side.
Customs Head Coach, Abdulrahman Mohammed says the border-ladies are back to her old form which saw it share the local space with First Bank in the late nineties.
The 2006 Nigeria senior men national team, D’Tigers captain to the Melbourne Commonwealth Games declared that Customs are ready to fight for the 2016 Zenith Bank league title.
He dismisses the insinuation that the league is a two-way horse race between the defending champion, Dolphins and former champion First Bank urging both sides (Dolphins and First Bank) to be weary of other teams.
The Gombe-state born basketball tactician who was part of Nigeria coaching crew that won the 2015 Afrobasket in Rades Tunisia want other corporate bodies to emulate Zenith Bank whose platform has catapult Nigeria women basketball to greater height.
“Dolphins and First Bank should stop thinking that other teams in the league are just there to make up the numbers as they would shocked when the real competition begin when we gets to the final-8.
“The sponsor – Zenith Bank has done so well for Nigeria women basketball and one must also commend NBBF for the superb increase in this year’s grant to teams, I want to appeal to other corporate organisations in Nigeria to copy from what Zenith Bank has contributed to the lives of hundreds of Nigerian women through the continuous sponsorship of the women league in the last twelve seasons.