Zenith league: Prize money thrills players

Sports

Top players at the just-concluded Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League have hailed the sponsors for increasing the prize money of the annual competition.

On Wednesday, First Bank retained their title after defeating a youthful Dolphins side 84-66 in the final match decided at the indoor sports hall of the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos.

In the third-place game, Nigeria Customs defeated debutants Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry 57-49 to win bronze.

Champions First Bank collected N1.5m and a trophy for their efforts, Dolphins got N1.2m and a trophy as well, while Customs were N1m richer for winning bronze.

Last year, the cash rewards were N1m, N500,000 and N250,000 for the top three clubs in the competition.

First Bank captain Nkechi Akashili said it was a good initiative by the sponsors, Zenith Bank, despite the league being played in an abridged format.

“Zenith Bank did very well. Nobody saw that coming and we are all happy because it affected the top three teams,” Akashili said.

Bintu Bhadmus, Dolphins captain, said,“We will all work hard for the first place prize next year because the prize money increment is a big boost for the teams.”

MFM coach, Adewunmi Aderemi, also praised the sponsors for engaging the youths despite the crisis in the Nigeria Basketball Federation.

“Many people felt that the competition would not take hold but somehow, we were able to have it; thanks to the sponsors. I’m happy that the tournament was an eye-opener for my youthful team,” Aderemi said.

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