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First Bank, Dolphins in Nigerian Women Basketball League final

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First Bank, who are Women’s Basketball League defending champions, will face Dolphins in the final of the Zenith Bank Women’s League National Final 6 on Wednesday for the coveted trophy.

Both will also represent Nigeria in the 2018 FIBA Africa Women Club Championship.

First Bank Basketball Club of Lagos proved bookmakers right with an easy win over Nigeria Customs.

The Elephant girls out-shot Customs by 73-44 in the semi-final as they dominated the all four quarters 19-14, 18-18, 23-10 and 14-10.

Nkechi Akashili dropped 20 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds, while Okoro Ifunanya came from the bench to contribute 14 points and 5 rebounds.

Dolphins overcame their 2017 heartbreak with a commanding 57-44 points win over Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry.

Bintu Badmus who played 32 minutes contributed 19 points, 2 assists and 9 rebounds to aid her team’s progress.

Fumnanya Ijeh who was recently invited to the senior women’s team preparing for the FIBA Africa 3×3 Cup of Nations also shot 10 points and 5 assists.

Mountain of Fire who were undone by inexperience lost out of a possible place in the final and will now face Customs in the 3rd place play off at 12pm today.

The final match between Dolphins and defending champions, First Bank will come up at 2pm.

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Odion Ighalo doubtful for Nigeria, South Africa clash

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Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo has sustained an injury that may rule him out of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification game against South Africa.

Odion Ighalo (9) comes off an aerial contest injured

Ighalo sustained the injury in his club, Changchun Yatai’s midweek game against Tianjin Quianjian, a game which ended 2-2.

While the media officer of the Super Eagles says the national team medics are awaiting details from the player’s Chinese club.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Ighalo sustained a hamstring injury.

“I pulled my hamstring,” Ighalo told TheCable.

The 29 year-old player, who is the toast of Nigerians after netting five goals in the two-legged AFCON qualifiers against Libya in October, was stretchered off the pitch in the 16th minute of Wednesday’s home game played at the Development Area Stadium.

It is unknown the level of strain Ighalo has. A muscle pull or tear will determine the length of time it will take for him to recover. Healing can occur as soon as few days if it’s a minor muscle pull or strain, whereas it could take weeks or months to recover from a grade 2 or 3 muscle tear. The latter will mean the former Watford man will be ruled out of the crucial November 17 game against the Bafana Bafana in Johannesburg.

The extent of his hamstring will be known after a scan later on Wednesday.

Ighalo has scored six goals for Nigeria in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers. And he is also the second top scorer in the Chinese Super League with 21 goals.

He joins Elche of Spain goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho on the Super Eagles injury list. Uzoho suffered a concussion for his club at the weekend, with Enyimba’s Theophilus Afelokhai already named as his replacement.

It has also been reported that Super Eagles Captain John Mikel Obi, who plays for Tianjin Teda, is out for the remainder of the Chinese Super League season after picking up a muscle injury in training.

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Super Falcons announce AWCON 2018 squad; eight home-based make cut

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The squad list of 21 Super Falcons players to fly Nigeria’s flag at the 11th Women Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ghana has been released.

Head Coach Thomas Dennerby announced the names on Wednesday barely 24 hours after the team landed in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivorie for their final camping phase ahead Ghana 2018.

Ugochi Emenayo, a defender (Nasarawa Amazons) and midfielder Ogonna Chukwudi (Krstianstand DFF, Sweden) were dropped from the squad that has 13 foreign-based and eight home-based players.

The championship starts next week, with Cup holders Nigeria heading Group B of the competition, to contend with South Africa, Zambia and Kenya.

Nigeria take on South Africa on November 18, before matches against Zambia and Kenya in Cape Coast.

Hosts Ghana, Algeria, Mali and Cameroon will battle things out in Group A in Accra.

THE 21 FALCONS FOR GHANA 2018

Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (Rivers Angels); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Confluence Queens); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels)

Defenders: Glory Ogbonna (Ibom Angels); Sarah Nnodim (Nasarawa Amazons); Ngozi Ebere (Barcelona FC, Cyprus); Faith Michael (Pitea IF, Sweden); Onome Ebi (Henan Huisanhang, China); Osinachi Ohale (Vaxjo DFF, Sweden); Josephine Chukwunonye (Asarum AIF, Sweden)

Midfielders: Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons); Ngozi Okobi (Eskiltuna UTD, Sweden); Rita Chikwelu (Krstianstand DFF, Sweden); Halimat Ayinde (Asarum AIF, Sweden)

Forwards: Anam Imo (Nasarawa Amazons); Rasheedat Ajibade (FC Robo Queens); Asisat Oshoala (Dalian Quanjian, China); Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit, USA); Desire Oparanozie (En Avant Guingamp, France); Chinaza Uchendu (SC Braga, Portugal); Chinwendu Ihezuo (Biik Kazygurt, Kazakhstan)

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Politics

Seyi Makinde promises to restore Shooting Stars’ glory

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The PDP gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, a staunch lover and financier of sports development, has expressed disappointment at the humiliation being experienced by the state-owned football team, Shooting Stars as a result of negligence by the state government.

The football team of Shooting Stars Sports Club

Speaking through the spokesman for his campaign organisation, Prince Dotun Oyelade, Makinde said that the state government and not the management of the club must be held responsible if the club fails to earn promotion to the top flight.

Makinde said he was sad to learn of the 2-1 defeat to Insurance of Benin in a very crucial match attended by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Hon. Philip Shaibu, whereas no senior government official from Oyo accompanied 3SC to a match to offer support.

Seyi Makinde was at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia to support the Super Eagles. Here he poses with Super Eagles midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi.

Makinde, whose campaign agenda includes sports development, said with the known reputation of one of Nigeria’s few traditional clubs, the club should be in an unassailable position now, secured in the top flight instead of having to depend on playing in the Super 8 to secure a place in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

He has consistently promised that when he becomes governor of the state in 2019, Shooting Stars’ fortunes will remarkably turnaround and compete for continental honours by 2020-21.

It is worthy to note that Shooting Stars, who have won the Nigerian league five times, last won it in 1998 and were knocked out of the group stage of the CAF Champions League the next year.

The FA Cup was last won by the club in 1995.

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Sports

NBA: CJ McCollum scores 40 as Portland Trail Blazers defeat Milwaukee Bucks

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CJ McCollum poured in 40 points as the Portland Trail Blazers handed the high-flying Milwaukee Bucks a 118-103 loss at the Moda Center to earn their fifth victory in their last six games. 

McCollum made 17 of 26 shots from the field and also had six assists and five rebounds as Portland won for the fifth time in six outings.

Evan Turner contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Trail Blazers, who shot 52.7 per cent from the field and made 17 of 43 (39.5 per cent) from three-point range.

Brook Lopez had 16 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo 13 for Milwaukee.

The Bucks trimmed the margin to 74-70 in the third quarter. The Blazers used a 9-2 run to extend their lead to 83-72. Portland’s advantage was 91-77 heading into the final period.

Milwaukee cut the difference to 91-85 early in the fourth quarter. Turner hit back-to-back buckets to open Portland’s lead to 10 at 98-88.

The Bucks answered with a 5-0 spurt to get to within 98-93, but McCollum’s three-pointer made it 101-93 with 6:48 to play.

Antetokounmpo’s dunk – his eighth of the game – cut it to 101-95. The Blazers answered with an 8-0 run to go ahead 109-95 with 4:23 left. The Bucks got no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Tuesday night’s results
Milwaukee Bucks 103-118 Portland Trail Blazers
Brooklyn Nets 104-82 Phoenix Suns
Atlanta Hawks 102-113 Charlotte Hornets
Washington Wizards 100-119 Dallas Mavericks
Milwaukee Bucks 103-118 Portland Trail Blazers

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