By Kayode Adebiyi
The Nigerian Army side, who emerged overall winners at the Zaria zonal phases of the league, once again reminded their opponents why they had so far been unbeaten.
The first quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Hurricanes was a close contest but Nigerian Army edged their Jalingo-based opponents by 16-15 points.
It was, however, in the second quarter that the Army ladies started causing the Hurricanes all sorts of trouble to take the quarter 14-3.
The fluidity in the play of the Army team was particularly reflected in the understanding forged among Stephy Akpomejiro, Mercy Elawure and Zainab Abdulganiy.
Akpomejiro kept sending in the long balls and making marauding moves into the opponents’ area, while Elawure and Abdulganiy combined to score the points.
Iyabo Raheem too was spectacular, especially with the three-pointers, to add 10 more points in the third quarter.
And although Taraba Hurricanes attempted a resurgence in the final quarter, with Gloria Omale and Jane Alabi asking questions of their opponents’ defence, it was too little too late.
There was no hope for a comeback, as Nigerian Army held firmly to their lead and capped their impressive performance with a 73-40 points victory.
Coach Ahmadu Abbah of Taraba Hurricanes was quick to admit after the game that his team would have to improve on their ball retention, defence and movement in subsequent games.
He also expressed optimism about his team’s chances of a place in the National Eight.
In spite of their unbeaten run, Nigerian Army captain, Sarah Al-Hassan, played down their performance, stating that their real test was yet to come in the league.
“We are taking it one game at a time and we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Our real challenge will come when we meet the giants,” she said.
Nigerian Army will next face Plateau Rocks, while Taraba Hurricanes will try their strength against favourites Nigeria Customs.