Home Sports Poor funding cost us 2016 FIBA African Championship Medal—Coach, Kano Pillars

Poor funding cost us 2016 FIBA African Championship Medal—Coach, Kano Pillars


By Abolade Ogundimu

Abuja  –  Alhaji Sani Ahmed, Head Coach, Kano Pillars Basketball Club, has attributed the team’s failure to win a medal in the 2016 FIBA African Championship Competition to poor funding .

Ahmed, said this on Sunday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Abuja.

He said the team could have won the competition or at least a medal if it had engaged in friendly matches within and outside the country before the tournament.

“ We didn’t play enough friendly matches, we would have travelled out and within the country to correct one or two mistakes.

“Also, we didn’t have enough fund to get two or more additional players that could have made our team better at the international competition.

“But we started out in 2016 on a good note, we lost only two matches throughout the DSTV League, we didn’t lose any match in the final eight.

“And in the Zone 3 African Championship, we didn’t lose any game.,” he said.

Ahmed, added that the team also contributed to the country’s current ranking in the game of basketball as the first in Africa and the 16th in the world.

“ Kano Pillars contributed to Nigeria qualifying for the nations cup because four players in the national team are from our club,” he said.

The head coach said the team had put measures in place to surmount the challenge as it had reached out to more sponsors for the club.

“We have discussed with our sponsors to get more funds and they have assured us that it will be ready in 2017”.

On the activities of the game’s regulatory body in the country, the Nigeria Basketball Federation(NBBF), Ahmed commended its efforts to develop basketball in the nation.

“ We have to commend the federation(NBBF) for organizing all the leagues despite poor funding. Also for going to the Rio Olympics, though we didn’t have full squad.

“They organized the Div.II, Div,1,DSTV and Zenith League and I believe it is lack of money that is restricting the federation from doing more.

“Like the DSTV league,we need to be playing a lot of games but the same problem of fund is a hindrance in achieving that,” he noted.

NAN recalled that Tijani Umar, President of the federation recently said more games would be played in both DSTV and Zenith Leagues to boost their effectiveness, beginning from 2017.

NAN recalled that Kano Pillars and Customs of Lagos qualified for the Zone 3 African Championship Cup, in Lome but only Kano Pillars was able to attend the championship.

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