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GTBank Lagos Polo Gallops Off With Silver, Low Cup Matches

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High-class polo would be on center stage for ten days as the prestigious Lagos Polo International Tournament which has GTBank as main sponsor gallops off Wednesday at Polo Club Road, Ikoyi.

The Silver Cup, the traditional event opener, would set hostilities rolling with three matches on the card as teams from Lagos, Kano and Ibadan battle for supremacy while the Low Cup would close the day’s activity.

Of the 33 teams that would vie for honour in four cups twelve of them would stake their pride in the Silver Cup, which is the lowest grade in the tournament.

For the medium-goal Low Cup, five teams would be contesting for the top prize. The medium-goal Low Cup and the prestigious Majekodunmi Cup, which would round off the polo extravaganza, will feature two teams, STL of Lagos and Rubicon of Kano.

The Open Cup as well as the Majek Cup, which are billed for the concluding weekwould have high-profile players from Argentina, United Kingdom, South Africa and a host of top Nigerian players participating.

Debuting STL of Lagos has Abuja-based Almat to contend with and a triumph for any of the contesting teams would see them joining the elite group of winners which include 2018 champions Fifth Chukker of Kaduna.

Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, SegunAgbaje, stated that the financial institution identified with polo because of the love it had for the game as well as sports in general.

According to him, “the passion and the symbiosis between the players and their horses, but most importantly, we hold a strong affinity to the sport of kings because it reflects quality, competitiveness and fair play; some of the values that have made GTBank a Proudly African and Truly International Financial Institution.”

Agbaje reiterated GTBank’s commitment by pointing that the sponsorship of this year’s tournament demonstrates the bank’s strong belief in the role of sports in developing and uniting the society. He stresses that the tournament has grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated social and sporting events of the year in Nigeria.

Tournament Manager, SeyiOyinlola, promised two weeks of exhilarating and thrilling polo urging “polo lovers to turn out in large numbers to come and feel the glamour associated with game of Kings.”

SPORT

Zenith Bank Celebrates D’Tigress On Back-To-Back Afrobasket Championship Victory

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Zenith Bank Plc, the sole sponsor of the Nigerian Female Basketball League has hailed the Nigerian female basketball team, D’Tigress, for emerging champions of the FIBA Women’s Afrobasket 2019 in Dakar, Senegal, defeating the host nation 60-55 points in the final match to retain the coveted trophy.

Speaking on the success of the team at the championship, the Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu commended the team for their hard work, doggedness and team spirit, which has seen them retain the trophy which they won two years ago in Mali. He expressed delight at the heroics of the team, comprised mostly of products of the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League, which the bank has sponsored for 15 years consecutively.

D’Tigress of Nigeria held their nerves in the final quarter of the game played at the magnificent Dakar Arena on Sunday, fighting off a late challenge from their Senegalese counterparts, to emerge African champions for the fourth time.

Evelyn Akhator, one of the products of the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League, scored 14 points and made nine rebounds and her amazing performance throughout the tournament earned her a place in the Tournament Five.

The Nigerian female basketball team kick-started the competition with resounding victories of 75-26 points win over Tunisia and 106-39 points win over Cameroun in the group stages, before recording a 79-46 points win over Congo in the quarterfinals and a 79-58 points win over Mali in the semifinals.

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Rohr Must Scout For Goalkeepers — Peter Rufai

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Ex-International, Peter Rufai has admonished the Super Eagles’ technical crew to work more on the goalkeeping department in the team, to fix some of the loopholes experienced at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations.

Dodo Mayana as he’s fondly called during his goalkeeping days stated that the goalkeeping trio of Okechukwu Ezenwa, Francis Uzoho, and Daniel Akpayi had an impressive performance with little or more to amend.

The Super Eagles finished third at the AFCON tournament after beating Tunisia 1-0 in the third-place match, thanks to an Odion Ighalo’s solitary goal in the first half.

However, Rufai told Soccernet.ng that the team’ technical trainer, Gernot Rohr should scout for more goalkeepers that would create more competition in the team.

“There is no doubt that the goalkeeper who represented Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations showed a very decent performance. At least we saw what goalkeepers such as Okechukwu Ezenwa, Francis Uzoho, and Daniel Akpayi could do for the Super Eagles but then, I still think the Super Eagles technical crew must scout for more goalkeepers that will give them stiff competition.

“This is not to say that they are not good but there is always the need for competition in the team to bring out the best from them.

Rufai earned 65 caps for Nigeria, and represented the nation at two FIFA World Cups, always as a starter: 1994 (Nigeria’s first-ever appearance, where he also acted as captain) and 1998, also helping the Super Eagles win the 1994 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia.

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Nigeria vs Algeria: Rohr Reveals Mistake Super Eagles Made, Singles Out One Player

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has admitted his players were relaxed at the end of the game when they wanted to force Algeria into extra time in their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final clash.

Nigeria had leveled the game through Odion Ighalo’s penalty after they went behind in the first half.

But with the final kick of the match, Riyad Mahrez struck an unstoppable free-kick past Daniel Akpeyi, to ensure the Desert Foxes will play in the final.

Rohr, speaking to Reuters, hailed Mahrez ass the “genius who made the difference”.

He said: “It was a big fight until the last minute, it was a wonderful match, I think my players wanted it to go to extra time thinking Algeria were more tired.

“We scored an own goal, unlucky, but we have come back every time in this tournament and this time we came back on a penalty. But a wonderful free kick from a football genius made the difference.”

Nigeria will face Tunisia in Wednesday’s third-place encounter at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo.

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