LAGOS – Union Bank Basketball Club of Lagos will engage their city rivals, Islanders Basketball Club as the DStv Basketball Premier League resumes on Friday.
The organisers of the league, the Nigeria Basketball Federations (NBBF) had postponed last week matches due to the recently concluded general elections.
In the Atlantic Conference, the Union Bank versus Islanders match, which is expected to be explosive as both teams will be looking at redeeming themselves having lost their season opening matches.
Star studded Islanders had lost 90-93 in a well contested battle to Kwara Falcons of Ilorin who were last season’s debutant in the elite division of the DStv men’s league.
In the same vein, the Union Bank team popularly called `the Stallion Boys’ lost 40-61 to Customs of Lagos in a no contest match that saw Union Bank players struggling with fitness.
In a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday, Coach Ayinla Johnson of the Union Bank Club, said they were determined to defeat Islanders when the two sides clash.
“’It’s a crucial match for us, we have to redeem ourselves from the insult we received from the hands of Customs.
“It will be so great to transfer the aggression on our arch rivals, Islanders,” Johnson said.
Also coach Lateet Erinfolami of the Islanders team, told NAN that their next encounter “is a must win for the club’’.
According to him, starting the ongoing season with two poor results can be devastating to their title hopes.
“So it’s a crucial match that must be won.
“We have to play hard to beat Union Bank, it’s not going to come easy consider they also lost their first match.
“However, we are confident of getting a good result,”Erinfolami said.
In another match, scheduled for the Indoor Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, giant killers, Customs would have a chance to make it two straight victories as they play Delta force of Asaba.
Customs had finished in the fifth position in the 2013/2014 season and missed the opportunity to be among the top four teams that represented the Atlantic Conference in last season’s national final eight championship.
Coach Scout Nnaji of the Customs team, also told NAN that the team was looking good to do better in the current campaign, with very youthful players.
“The team is poised to prove their critics wrong.
“We will take one game at a time, Delta Force should pose no threat, but we will not underrate them, because they have worked hard to play in this stage,” Nnaji said.
In another crunchy match, Police Baton of Lagos are billed to engage Dodan Warriors of Lagos who are fired up to match any team having torn Oluyole Warriors out 72-41 in their season opener.
Dodan Warriors Coach, Chris Nomigo said that the team was ready to face any hostility the Police team would want to display.
“We are ready to take on Police Baton, we know they are a very physical side when they play, so we are mentally and physically ready for the challenge,” Nomigo said.
At the Ibadan centre, the match between Oluyole Warriors also promised to be exciting as the Oluyole Warriors would welcome Kwara Falcons.
All eyes would also be on Kwara Falcons who in their week one match, defeated Islanders in Kwara and proved to bookmakers their capabilities to compete.
If all things go the Falcons way, they could be the first team to defeat Oluyole Warriors on the home soil in three years in the league. (NAN)
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