Total/NBBF Division Two: Raptors coach confident of team’s chances


Charles Ibeziakor, the proprietor/coach of Raptors Basketball Academy on Thursday said that his team was preparing hard for the Total/NBBF Division One which is set to dunk off in December.

Ibeziakor said he had a solid team that could compete favourably and qualify to the elite division.

“It has been a tough year for us training all through but hopefully, we will get to play in the Total Division One League which is coming up in December.

“We played in the Division Two competition but it did not go down well with the team as so many factors led to our not being able to qualify.

“My team is good;  but for the improper organisation of the local organising committee, we could have qualified,’’ Ibeziakor said.

According to him, the leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) needs to do more on its organisation to make the Total/NBBF league a success.

“The just-concluded Division Two league was poorly coordinated and there were so many situations that required a lot of attention.

“There were problems with officiating, poor registration of players and coordination of the games, it was also too short to decide a real champion.

“The competition lasted for just four days and we only played three games.

“For a league to produce true champions there has to be more games just like the 74 games the NBBF board had promised,’’ Ibeziakor said.

Following five days of heated action among seven teams in the league, Ondo Kings of Akure and Young Royals of Abeokuta qualified to play in the conference finals.

Golden Tourch of Nasarawa and Nigeria Prisons from the Savannah conference have also booked their tickets for the conference finals.

However, Raptors Academy will be relying heavily on their star player, Chukwudalu Ebejiogu, who has been very outstanding during their preparations.

Ebejiogu participated in the just-concluded Giant of Africa Top 50 All-star players that was put together by U.S. Toronto Raptors President, Masai Ujuri.

He was also one of the five young Nigeria players selected to play in the U.S. NBA Africa programme that held in April in Australia and South Africa.