20th MILO Basketball Championship National Finals

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Two Lagos Schools, Six Others Qualify

Teams from Lagos State have qualified for the Conference Finals of the 20th Nestle Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship.
Lagos State representatives, International School, Lagos (Boys)  and Wesley Girls Secondary School, Yaba, (Girls) emerged winners at the Conference Finals and have both qualified for the national finals slated for May 3-10, at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos.
In the conference finals decided on Tuesday, Lagos defeated Oyo 36-35 points in the girls category, while  in the boys final, Lagos beat Ogun with  77-41 points.
On their road to the final, International School played their first match in the Conference Finals against Team Ondo who they defeated 37-36 points.  They also won their second game against Team Ogun 47-33 points and their third match against Kogi was won by 38-23 points.
In the semi final of the finals, International School Lagos beat Ekiti by 54-20 points to set up their final match against Oyo which they won.
Meanwhile, in the girls category, Wesley Girls Secondary School defeated Ondo 60-5 points in their first match of the Conference Finals. Their semi final match against Ogun was won by 30-26 points.
The Executive Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr Kweku Tandoh described the performance of both International School and Wesley Girls as testimony to the developmental programme of the state government on schools sports. He said the two schools are worthy representatives of Lagos State in a competition designed for all secondary schools in Nigeria.
He charged the two finalists not to rest on their laurels until they win the coveted trophies in the National Finals, adding that the Lagos State Sports Commission is solidly behind them.
The Director General of the Commission, Fatai Babatunde Bank-Anthony, commended the two schools for fighting their ways to the national finals. He noted that the results they recorded in the conference finals showed they were gallant warriors who deserved praises.
He charged them, as Team Lagos, to be the champions of the 20th Nestle Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship.
Other qualifiers include, Belary School, Yenagoa, and St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata, both in Bayelsa State; Government Secondary School, Karu, FCT Abuja; Gen. Murtala Mohammed College, Yola, Adamawa State; Father O’ Connel Science College, Minna, Niger State; Government Secondary School, Gboko, Benue State;
Four other schools will join after the completion of the draws for the best losers, according to information available from the National Collegiate Sports Foundation (NCSF). The National Finals will be held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos, between 3rd and 10th of May 2018.
The championship commenced earlier in the year with state preliminary games after the NSSF registered over 9, 000 schools across the 36 States and FCT Abuja. Out of these over 9,000 schools,74 schools comprising of both boys and girls teams qualified for the regional conferences which held in Benin, Abuja, Ilorin, and Ibadan, over a period of four weeks.
“A good number of players in the Premier Basketball League in Nigeria have participated in the MILO Basketball Championship at one point or the other while some of our champions are also currently playing in other international Premier Basketball Leagues in USA, Europe, and other places,” Lanre Balogun, NCSF’s Executive Secretary informed.

MILO uses sports as a metaphor to teach schoolchildren important life skills such as determination, confidence, discipline, teamwork, and respect. This stems from the belief that schoolchildren who are physically active in exercise and sports are most likely to do well all-around.

Sunshine Stars’ Alimi Clinches VAT Wonder Goal Award  
It turned out one of the closest contests in the history of the three seasons old VAT Wonder Goal Award and it was Sunshine Stars Sikiru Alimi who was the last man standing, shaking off tough challenge from Chijioke Alakwe of FC IfeanyiUbah to emerge winner of the Match Day 16 edition. The duo took to the polls their rivalry on the pitch on the match day where both netted for their clubs.
Alimi, who has scored in successive games for his relegation dogged club led the polls both on the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) website and twitter account with a combined total of 863 votes from a total 1745.
Alakwe’s strong showing on the website polls was undone by a comparatively poor showing on the twiiter polls where Alimi coasted with 50 percent of the 513 votes, leaving Alakwe and Kano Pillars Alassan Ibrahim with 108 votes each.
Overall, Alakwe polled 700 votes while Ibrahim trailed in third place with 125 votes and Stephen Alfred of Kwara United finished fourth with 57 votes.
The goal by Alimi was the only goal in Sunshine Stars 3-1 loss to FC IfeanyiUbah which saw the striker reaching a pass after outpacing his marker, and then did a cut back to set up a right footed shot from the edge of the box.
The player will receive the prize money of N150,000 half of which will be donated to a charity to be nominated by him from the state where the club is domiciled.
The VAT Wonder Goal Award is an initiative of the League Management Company (LMC) and supported by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to deepen club community engagement and promote the campaign on the benefits of tax payment by citizens.
Rivers United Emeka Ogbugh won the award for Match Day 15.