Akaraiwe is MVP as Customs win Mark D’Ball Women’s Basketball Championship
• Men begin quest for honours
Customs Basketball, at the weekend, defeated First Bank of Lagos 54 to 49 to win the women’s version of the 2022 Mark D’Ball Basketball Championship at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
At the end of the competition, Regina Donanu (MFM), Chidinma Okeke (Sunshine Angels), Ifunanya Okoro (Firstbank), Gift Uchenna (Kada Angels) and Nkem Akaraiwe (Nigeria Customs) were crowned the best five players of the championship.
Akaraiwe also won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, just as Regina Iornumbe (Firstbank) was named the Most Defensive Player (MDP), while Okeke of Sunshine Angels received the award for the most assists in the tournament.
Uchenna of Kada Angels, who was the only player to record 20+ rebounds in a single game, got the highest rebound award for her efforts.
Apart from the on-the-court action, some of the country’s top artistes, including Tubaba, Goya Menor, Daddy Showkey, MC Smart, Pastor Nicodemus and Chucks D General, among others, thrilled the audience live at the event.
Customs Basketball Club got N1 million as champions; First Bank got N750, 000 with the third-placed team getting N500, 000.
Convener of the Mark D’Ball Basketball Championship, Igoche Mark, assured basketball lovers of more domestic games, saying that the men’s championship will run for three months from last Saturday to April 23, 2022.
“As I said at the opening ceremony, our aim is to see us play more games just like the NBA. They play 82 games in a regular season, but if we cannot play 82 games, let us play something close.
“I am happy to have brought smiles back to our domestic players and we are going to sustain this tempo. For the men’s championship, 24 teams have been selected to play and the draws will be done soon,” Mark said.