Air Warriors of Abuja are the new Zenith Bank Women Basketball League champions after defeating MFM of Lagos in a tough final at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos on Thursday.
The Nigeria Airforce ladies held off MFM’s spirited fightback to win 57-53 points as they claim their first-ever national women’s title.
Henry Oroh, the Executive Director of sponsor Zenith Bank Plc, congratulated the new champions and expressed satisfaction at the level of competition in the tournament.
Oroh praised all the eight teams in the Final 8 and recalled how the national women’s team, D’Tigress, are African champions, raising the profile of Nigerian basketball.
He commended Zenith Bank’s role in the development of the game and promised that the bank will continue to support women’s and youth sports.
In the tightly contested final, Air Warriors led all through the game, ending the first quarter 14-7, the second 34-24 and the third 46-36.
MFM, who were undone by poor shooting, came alive in the final quarter and came within two points of Air Warriors before the Abuja team sealed the win.
Murjanatu Musa was voted the MVP OF THE tournament.
Both Air Warriors and MFM will represent Nigeria in the FIBA Africa Zone 3 Champions Cup qualifiers in Cotonou scheduled for 28 October to 3 November.
FirstBank finished in third place by trouncing Dolphins 81-36 in a one-sided classification game that preceded the final.
The Elephant Ladies, who were beaten by Air Warriors in the semi-final on Wednesday, were ruthless against their fellow Lagos side, racing to a 21-13 lead by the end of the first quarter.
They extended their lead to 46-25 by the end of the first half and were 65-30 up going into the final quarter.
Ifunanya Okoro of FirstBank was in devastating form, scoring a game-high 30 points and adding six rebounds.