Another university games – the “NUGA” basketball ‘bout’ is around the corner again. In this month of March, NUGA has been billed to feature the games in Abuja in a joint venture with a prominent Nigerian foundation known simply as “AMK.’
On its take-off, host Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) did not disappoint their fans as they led the pack of teams to qualify for the final of the Ahmadu Musa Kida Foundation/Nigeria University Games (AMK/NUGA) maiden 3×3 Basketball Competition, which is scheduled to begin in Abuja on March 2, 2017.
They emerged from the second qualifiers, which were concluded in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Indoor Gymnasium Hall, ABU, Zaria. They would be joined by Nasarawa State University, Keffi; Kaduna State University; Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil, and the University of Ilorin, who also topped the table, respectively.
Bayero University, Kano, were not so lucky as they finished at the sixth spot; also unlucky were those, who finished beneath them on the table. They are Federal University Lokoja, Federal University Dutse, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBUNI), Lapai, University of Maiduguri and Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina State.
For the female category, Bayero University topped the table, University of Ilorin came second and host ABU Zaria finished third. The three teams have qualified for the finals, and would be joined by teams that had earlier qualified from Lagos zone, led by the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Others are University of Ibadan (UI), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu State University (ESUT) and Benson Idahosa University (BIU). For the female category, UI leads the pack, UNILAG follows, BIU, UNN and UNIZIK complete the list, respectively.
Commenting on the outcome of the game, NUGA Basketball chairman, Professor Adamu Ahmed, said he expects a tough competition in Abuja from March 3. He said that those that qualified from both qualifiers in Lagos and Zaria did so after stiff competition, but should prepare themselves for an even stiffer outing in Abuja when the best-of-the-best converge.
Professor Ahmed praised the AMK Foundation for keeping faith with NUGA Basketball in bankrolling the competition, while assuring that only the best team will emerge to represent Nigeria at the World Universities Tournament.
It would be recalled that AMK Foundation has, for two years running, been the sole sponsor of the West Africa “3 Aside” basketball tournament. The Foundation is a non-profit charity organization with interest in youths’ empowerment through sports.