By Victor Okoye
Abuja, Sept 13, 2022 (NAN) Hotcoal Sizzlers Basketball team, on Sunday defeated Mo’ Heat 48-25 in the final of the 2022 Abuja City Basketball league (ACBL) to emerge champions for the second time.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Hotcoal Sizzlers Basketball team were also champions of the league in 2021.
A total of 16 teams participated in the league this year with no fewer than 115 games played over a four month period which ran from June to Sept. 11.
Bek Jang, the Team Manager of Hotcoal Sizzlers told NAN on Wednesday in Abuja that the tournament was a preparatory ground for his team ahead of the 2022 NWBL season, adding that the girls gave a good account of themselves during the competition.
He said it was an uphill battle against the best teams in the city, and that the tournament had fully prepared his team and put them in top shape ahead of the league season proper.
“We had a great time at the league this year after we successfully defended our title which we won last year.
“It wasn’t easy. Last year we went unbeaten but this year was tougher as we had to bounce back from defeat after a narrow 36-35 loss to Mo’ heat in the first phase.
“We had to go back to the drawing board and correct a whole lot of mistakes. So, when we met again in the finals, it was an easy ride for us,” he said.
The team manager who was speaking ahead of the Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League scheduled to dunk off in October, said his team was capable of competing amongst the best in the nation’s elite women’s basketball league.
He noted that with the stellar performance of the team at the just concluded 2022 ACBL, they were hopeful of getting a slot in the upcoming Zenith Bank League Season next month.
He revealed that three of the top five players in the league emerged from the Hotcoal Sizzlers Basketball team.
“The best point guard, best shooter, best centre and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the League were all from the Hotcoal Sizzlers Basketball team.
“So, I can comfortably tell you that we have very good players who can represent the country at the highest level in the Nigeria National Basketball team, ” he said.
He thanked the General Manager of the team (Ubon Udoh) for the moral and financial support which he said went a long to ensuring the team’s success at the end of the league.
“The whole idea of the Hotcoal franchise is to make positive impact in the lives of the players.
“In this regard, we usually give out scholarships annually to our players still in school and also expose our professional players to international trainings and clubs abroad to help them improve their basketball skills.
“We also have health insurance cover for both our male and female basketball players to ensure that they are adequately taken care, in the eventuality of any injury or health related issues,” he said.
NAN also reports that the Abuja City Basketball league continues with the Men’s playoffs at the basketball gym of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Package B from Sept. 20 – 24. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)