By Babatunde Ogunrinde
The 2021 Nigerian Men’s Premier Basketball League has been fixed for Sept.7 as the race for the championship of the Nigerian Basketball League gets underway.
The eventual league winners will also represent Nigeria at the NBA-organised Basketball African League (BAL) in 2022.
Afolabi Oni, the media coordinator, Nigeria Basketball Federation Board (NBBF), made this known in a statement on Saturday, in Lagos.
He said that already letters had been despatched to clubs by the Federation Secretary, Bisi Afolabi-Oluwayemi, indicating that the league would be played on the traditional Atlantic and Savannah conference formats.
“In the Atlantic conference, 11 teams will converge in Lagos for the conference phase, while the Savannah conference with 10 teams will converge in Abuja.
“Defending Champions and Nigeria’s continental representative at the 2020 BAL, Rivers Hoopers, will hope to book a National Final eight ticket, when they faced Kwara Falcons, Raptors, and Police Batons, Ondo Raiders, Islanders, Coal City, Impressions, CAMAC, Invaders, and Lagos Warriors.
“In the Savannah Conference, all eyes will be on Kano Pillars and Gombe Bulls, who have been tipped by bookmakers as title contenders at the Abuja centre.
“Niger Potters, Defenders, Reformers, Benue Braves, Nigeria Army, City Chiefs, Plateau Peaks and Bauchi Nets complete the clubs in the Savannah conference,” Oni said.
He said each club was expected to register 15 players for the season and comply with the advise not to register players who competed in the 2021 Total National Division One and Two, in order to avoid the risk of disqualification.
“Teams who failed to turn up for the league will also be automatically relegated to Division One with immediate effect.
“The national finals will be held in Lagos on a yet to be announced date,” he said. (NAN)