By; Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Defending champions, Kano Pillars have won the Kwese Premier League Savannah Conference Six play-offs after winning all their five matches and ending the championship with one hundred percent record finish.
The tournament held inside the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Indoor Hall of the Murtala Square Kaduna State, North-West, Nigeria between August 14-19 had six teams from the Savannah Conference namely; Kano Pillars, Gombe Bulls, Plateau Peaks, Niger Potters, Bauchi Net and Kada Stars. Bauchi Net and Kada Stars replaced Mark Mentors and Defenders both of Abuja which failed to turn up for the competition.
The emerged champions of the conference, Pillars beat hard fighting Gombe Bulls 104-97 points in their first game, defeated Kada Stars 91-58 points, won Bauchi Net 85-44 points, fell Niger Potters 103-71 points and routed Plateau Peaks 80-64 points to maintain an unbeaten run.
Coach of the Kano based team, Sani Ahmed, speaking on his team’s performance after the championship reiterated his club’s desire to retain the trophy after the Final 8 in Kano.
“Winning the Savannah Conference Six shows the level of consistency in the club. It also tells of the amount of hard work put in by the players to winning tournaments.”
“The team is not one hundred percent perfect yet. We are still a high scoring side averaging 80 points per game but we are still going to do more so as to defend and win the Final 8 at home in Kano.
“Our tradition is to win any tournament we find ourselves in. So, we aim to retain the Final 8. We have noticed some weaknesses and lapses in the course of our games and will work on them before the Final 8. I noticed the boys sometimes get complacent; but we need to be consistent and more perfect in taking shots,” he said
The coach also disclosed that the Conference play-offs were part of preparations for his team’s participation in an invitational tournament slated in Malaysia in the first week of September.
“Immediately we conclude the play-offs and Final 8 we shall be honoring a fully sponsored trip to Malaysia for an invitational tournament involving teams from Japan, China, Malaysia and teams from other Asian countries. Good enough we will be prepared because this championship serves as good preparations for the tournament.”
Other teams that qualified from the Savannah Conference Six are Niger Potters, Gombe Bulls and Plateau Peaks. The Final 8 in Kano will see four teams each from the Atlantic and Savannah Conferences battle for the ultimate prize to climax the Kwese Premier League Season.
Gombe Bulls vs Bauchi Net (78-47)
Kano Pillars vs Plateau Peaks (80-64)