The Vice President, Nigeria Basketball Federation, Babs Ogunade, has hinted that the Federation is striving to organise Bubble format of the Premier League this season after a High Court sitting in Abuja granted it the legal right to administer the Premier Basketball league.
Speaking with Boluwaji Ogunmola on the BCOS TV flagship Sports Programme Saturday Breakfast Sports, Ogunade said the Federation resolved to adopt the Bubble League format to meet the challenges posed by Covid 19 pandemic.
Ogunade, who however disclosed that NBBF is seeking funds to put the league together, explained that the case against the Musa Kida-led board, which stopped the body from running the league for about three years, had distracted sponsors from investing in the Sports in the country.
NBBF V.P said a lot of planning is going on, including finding sponsor for the league.
“Now that this court case is over, we hope distractions will stop… we have to start talking to sponsors, were aiming at organizing a bubble league because of the global pandemic. We will gather the players in one place, in the same hotel and this create lot of financial issues as it’s expensive to get all the teams in one place. It’s a bit challenging but challenges are made for humans and it’s something we can surmount”, Ogunade said.
It would be recalled that Federal High Court sitting in Abuja last week threw out the case filed by the Kwese League Management Board and others, forbidding the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF from organising the Premier Basketball League in Nigeria.The verdict gave back to the NBBF the mandate to organize the nation’s basketball league.
Meanwhile, With D’Tigress paired with world power houses, USA, France and host Japan in what pundits have dubbed the ‘Group of Death’, the leadership of the Nigeria’s Basketball Federation have commenced preparations to ensure that both the men and women National basketball teams perform well at the Olympics.
While reacting to the draw conducted last week on BCOS TV flagship sports program Saturday Breakfast Sports, anchored by Boluwaji Ogunmola, Vice President of NBBF, Babs Ogunade, insisted that the Federation is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the men and women basketball team of Nigeria perform well in Tokyo.
Speaking on how the Federation is preparing the teams for the Olympics, Mr Ogunade said the Federation has been organizing short camps for the teams and will keep doing so ahead of the Olympics.
“Well, because of the pandemic ravaging the world, we are having short camps everywhere, the first of which terminates in Atlanta this weekend…the girls have been together for the last 8 days in Atlanta under Coach Otis. Also for the men, the NBA is in season so we will have short camps also for them, the era of long camp is over, so we have short days of camp and have them go back to their clubs until they have long holidays. Same as the home based players, our plan is to hand every basketball player home and abroad the chance to fight for the national team jersey.”
The Vice-President disclosed that the Federation has not given the teams any specific target but won’t mind a podium finish.
He said “At every time our national teams step on the court, Nigerian should expect them to give their very best, a podium appearance won’t be a bad thing, in fact it will be fantastic”.
“It’s a tough draw as expected at the Olympics, since the Olympics is not an inter-house sport, the very best come out to play at the Olympics, so were happy to be among the best, we’re also happy to be representing Nigeria and Africa. We are happy to have crossed that qualification hurdle and were now planning for the Olympics proper,” he concluded.
All three of the Nigerian women’s opponents are ranked higher than D’Tigress in the toughest group of the event. The USA are the No.1 team in the world, France are No.5 and hosts Japan are 10th in the world. Nigeria’s D’Tigress are ranked No.1 in Africa and No.14 in the world with 366 points.