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Basketball: Zenith Bank Women’s League Starts In Abuja, Enugu On Sunday

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The 2018 Zenith Bank Women Basketball League starts on Sunday with an abridged format, dunking off in two centers – Abuja and Enugu.

First Bank Women’s Basketball team of Lagos will begin their Premier League title defense in the Enugu center with 10 teams competing for honors.

New entrant, Mountain of Fire Women’s Basketball Club, will be among the 10 Premier League teams from the South West, South East and South South at the Enugu center. In Abuja at the Savannah conference, nine teams from North West, North East, and North Central will battle for supremacy

All the preliminary games at the two centers will take place between October 28 and November 2nd with three teams expected to qualify from Enugu and Abuja.

According to the Nigeria Basketball Federation, the final six teams will vie for honours in the finals billed for the Sports Hall of the National Stadium between November 3rd and 7th. Winner and 1st runners-up will represent Nigeria at the FIBA Zone 3 Women Champions qualifiers in Cotonou between November 12th and 15th, 2018.

The Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Peter Amangbo, has promised that the abridged nature of the league this year will not affect all the glamour and the rewards for the top teams.

“It is still the same competition with all the attributes just that circumstances made the event to be this way in 2018. I want to reassure that the commitment of Zenith Bank remains the same for Nigerian youths and sports in particular.” Amangbo said.

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JUST IN: Manchester United sack Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United have announced the sack of manager, Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese was dismissed on Tuesday after a series of poor results.

Manchester United announced this on Twitter, saying, “Manchester United has announced that Jose Mourinho has left the Club.

“We would like to thank him for his work during his time at Manchester United and wish him success in the future.”

Details later…

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Super Eagles Draw Bafana Bafana, Qualifies For AFCON 2019

Peter Okunoren

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria, have qualified for the 2019 African Cup of Nations slated to hold in Cameroon.

The Nigerian side punched their qualifying ticket courtesy a one-all draw against perennial rivals South Africa at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on Saturday.

Al Nasr of Saudi Arabia star and the Nigerian Footballer of the Year, Ahmed Musa, led the former African champions along with Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho in the attack.

Gernot Rohr settled for Ikechukwu Ezenwa in goal

The goalkeeper got cover from Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Jamilu Collins and Kenneth Omeruo, while Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu, and Samuel Kalu took charge of Nigeria’s midfield.

An own goal by Buhle Mkhwanazi gifted the Nigerian side the opener after 10 minutes from kick off.

The South Africans rallied and were to level score through a tap-in by Lebo Mothiba in the 26th minute of the tie.

Nigeria leads the group with 10 points, while South Africa, Libya, and Seychelles are on nine, seven and one points respectively.

In the other group game, Libya drubbed Seychelles 8-1 in Victoria.

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Nigeria Set To Lose Obafemi To Ireland

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Michael Obafemi is in line to make his senior international bow at some stage on Thursday after making the final squad for the games against Northern Ireland and Denmark.

The Southampton striker has recently broken into the Saints’ matchday squad, with two appearances off the bench in the last few weeks, and has been rewarded with a first call-up.

Obafemi was born in Dublin and grew up in England, while he’s also eligible to play for Nigeria, but he seems to have expressed his preference to represent his country of birth.

And he may benefit from the ankle injury picked up by clubmate Shane Long as Ireland prepare to host Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland in a friendly on Thursday.

Liverpool youngster Caoimhin Kelleher could also feature for the first time as he was retained as one of three goalkeepers in the final squad.

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill confirmed that Glenn Whelan will captain the side on what is set to be his 85th and final appearance for his country.

The 34-year-old midfielder hasn’t formally announced his retirement but he hasn’t been called up since the World Cup play-off defeat to Denmark last November.

And the Aston Villa man will not travel on with the squad to Aarhus for the UEFA Nations League closer against the Danes on Sunday.

Robbie Brady also looks set to make his first international appearance since the Denmark play-offs after returning to action following a horrific leg break sustained in December.

Meanwhile, Ireland under-19 captain and Manchester United defender Lee O’Connor has been brought into the training squad but won’t be considered for selection.

Republic of Ireland squad to face Northern Ireland and Denmark:
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Colin Doyle, Caoimhin Kelleher.

Defenders: Seamus Coleman, Cyrus Christie, Matt Doherty, Richard Keogh, Shane Duffy, Kevin Long, John Egan, Darragh Lenihan, Lee O’Connor*, Enda Stevens.

Midfielders: Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane, Harry Arter, David Meyler, Shaun Williams, Alan Browne, Callum O’Dowda, James McClean.

Forwards: Scott Hogan, Sean Maguire, Callum Robinson, Aiden O’Brien, Ronan Curtis, Michael Obafemi.

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