By Babatunde Ogunrinde
The 22nd edition of the Nestle Milo Basketball Secondary Schools Championships ended on Thursday in Lagos with schools from Bayelsa emerging winners in the boys and girls categories.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that St Jude’s Girls Secondary School Amarita defeated Akpur College of Benue 38-14 to lift the trophy a record seven times in a row.
St Jude’s team were clear favourites heading to the final as they took the two quarters convincingly by recording 11-0 and 20-04 leads.
As a result, they wasted no time in dismissing the girls from Benue.
The final match in the boys category proved to be an end-to-end fight for supremacy as Bishop Dimieari Grammar School from Bayelsa defeated Government Secondary School, Karu in Abuja 36-33.
The match was of high tempo with fans at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium being wowed from the beginning to the end.
Victory for the Bayelsa boys was also a historical moment for them, being their first time in the national championships finals and going all the way to emerge champions.
In the girls category, Abigail Isaac from Bayelsa won the Most Valuable Player Award, while Okini Valour also from Bayelsa won the Most Valuable Player Award in the boys category.
Head Coach of the Bayelsa team, Tony Nelson, told NAN he was proud of the moments and it would forever remain in his heart.
He said that over the past years he was criticised for not winning in the boys category but now he had proved his critics wrong.
“We prepared very well for this tournament, and we are happy that out of the schools that came we are proud to take the championships trophies for the boys and girls categories.
“This is a sign of the good job we are doing at the grassroots in Bayelsa and we can but only thank the youths for their hard work and the state governement as well for its unwaivering support,” Nelson said.
NAN reports that in the third-place finals for boys, Davidhall College of Lagos beat Queen Amina College of Kaduna 21-17 to finish as third-place winners.
Similarly, Topfield College of Lagos beat King Amachree Academy of Rivers 42-32 to emerge third-place winners in the boys category.
NAN reports that no fewer than 10,000 schools participated in this year’s edition, with regional finals being decided before the National Finals which just ended in Lagos from Sunday to Thursday.
The Managing Director, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Wassim Elhusseini, said while speaking at the occasion that the company was delighted with the organisation of yet another successful event after the two-year COVID-19 break.
“The competition over the years has provided that important platform for young lovers of the game to be developed and nurtured to stardom,” he said.
Wassim Elhusseini added that the company should be aware of the fans.
“We are committed to doing more corporate responsibilities for the future of the game in Nigeria,” he stated. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Olawale Alabi