Air Warriors win Zenith Bank Women Basketball League
Air Warriors of Abuja, who on Wednesday upset defending champions, First Bank of Lagos in the semifinals of the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League, crowned their efforts with the title yesterday, beating fellow newbies, MFM Queens of Lagos in the final.
The debutants beat MFM Queens by 55 to 53 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.
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.
At the end of the game, Air Warriors’ Coach, Sotiminu Samson said hard work and determination gave his team the victory.
“We just had seven months to put this team together. I must confess that at first, I was not optimistic that my team will win this year’s women’s league. But after winning two games, the expectations became high.
“Getting some of these girls ready for the game was not easy as some of them could not bounce the ball at first when they came to camp. But I thank God after much grooming the result is victory,” he said.
For their efforts, Air Warriors got N2 million from the sponsors, Zenith Bank, while MFM got N1, 750,000 for coming second.
First Bank, who defeated Dolphins also of Lagos 81-36 in the third place play- off, earned N1, 250,000.
Murjanatu Musa of Air Warriors won the MVP award.
Air Warriors and MFM Queens will represent Nigeria at the FIBA Zone Three Championship.
Also speaking at the end of the final game, Henry Oroh, an executive director at 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 Eight and recalled how the national women’s team, D’Tigress, have raised the profile of Nigerian basketball.
He commended Zenith Bank’s role in the development of the game and promised that the bank would continue to support women’s and youth sports.