Kano-based Adolescent Health and Information Programme, (AHIP) Basketball Club, yesterday defeated First Deepwater Basketball Club of Lagos 56-53 in one of the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League games in Asaba.
AHIP’s victory was the high point of the matches decided on Tuesday.
Other teams that also won in the second phase of the league include; IGP Queens who defeated Taraba Hurricanes 61-22 while GT 2000 also snatched a 38-39 victory against Customs. Zamfara Babes lost to immigration 36-44 while Benue Princess defeated Plateau Rock.
Speaking after his team’s victory against First Deepwater, Coach of AHIP, Wilson Idanwenkai, told reporters that his girls had a good game.
He commended his players for sticking to the game plan even in the face of biased officiating from the referees.
“We had a nice game against First Deepwater and it was good that it ended in our favour. However, the referees looked like they were acting out a script and it is a bad development. It seems some of the teams are desperate to qualify for the Final Eight. This perhaps is the reason for the desperation to win at all costs. This is the cause of the rivalry that is becoming unhealthy among teams,” reasoned the AHIP coach.
Despite his team’s good showing in the second phase of the Zenith Bank Women’s League so far, Idanwenkai insisted that AHIP is not desperate to play in the Final-Eight in Lagos.
“What my organisation is concerned about is to develop players that will become top players in future. We are not in the league to win-at-all-cost, but add glamour to it by training players to become stars. We don’t want to be part of any group that is desperate for laurels,” stressed the coach.
He buttressed his position by pointing out that over 70 per cent of the players playing in the league came from AHIP basketball programmes.
“I must say that the standard of the league has improved. The teams are more balanced and churning out good performances, which is good for the overall improvement of the women’s game. I enjoin all the teams to contribute their quota to the rise of basketball in the country.
Idanwenkai however admitted that there are no small teams in the league anymore.
With yesterday’s victory, AHIP has now won four games this season. Its next game in the series is against GT 2000 tomorrow evening.