By Olayinka Elebute
Mo’ Heat Basketball Club on Monday edged Gombe Bulls 73-70 to make it two straight wins in a row at the ongoing Mark ‘D’ Ball Basketball Championship in Abuja.
The three-month long championship which dunk off on Sunday at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium is expected to end in April.
Mo’ Heat had earlier defeated Hot Coal 74 – 55 in their opening game.
Mohammed Shehu, the Proprietor of Mo’ Heat Basketball Club spoke with journalist, said that it was a very tough but sweet victory, adding that his goal was to develop the game at the grassroots.
“I had a feeling that we were going to win the game. It’s very interesting and it shows that all the hardwork we have put into the game is beginning to pay off.
“Our basic target is to develop the game at the grassroots in the country.
“We are in the business of searching for young talents and developing them to become the stars of tomorrow and that’s what we’ve been doing all this
Shehu added that the team’s next target was to ensure participation in the Nigeria Basketball Premier League, adding that the league was the real test for the players.
“Our dream is to join the Nigeria Basketball Premier League as soon as the ongoing Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) crisis is resolved so as to improve the skills of these developed talents through the league.
“The Mark ‘D’ Ball Men’s Basketball Championship in itself is a private and a very good initiative by the new NBBF President, Mark Igoche.
“However, there is a need for these players to participate in the real and highest ranked league in the country, which is the Nigeria Basketball Premier League.
“This is where the players can really be tested so as to ascertain their level of fitness and compatibility as well as the quality of our investment,” he said.
The Mo’ Heat boss decried the poor state of basketball in the last four years in the country, especially on the domestic scene.
He however said he was confident that the league would be resuscitated as soon as possible with the emergence of Igoche as the new NBBF President.
“We have a new president now and I know him very well.
“He is going to swing into action and ensure that the league is resuscitated, he concluded.
Results of other matches played on Monday at the championship show Apa Flames losing 65-93 to Hot Coal Ballers.
Safety Knights beat Ahip Giants 81-74 and Nile University Spartans defeated Police Baton 68-64.
Tuesday’s games will see Ahip Giants take on Police Baton, while Mo’ Heat face Safety Knights.
Hot Coal Ballers will battle against Gombe Bulls, while Nile University Spartans lock horns with Apa Flames.