23.04.2005 Basketball

Ghanaian varsity coach rates Nigerian basketball high

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The University of Ghana, Legon, basketball coach, Matthias Ocloo, has rated Nigerian basketball as being “far ahead of the Ghanaian game,” as the second Vmobile/West African Universities Basketball Games competition ended at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) on Wednesday.

Ocloo admitted here on Wednesday that Nigerian players were better than Ghanaian players. The Ghanaian, whose team lost to the ABU team 72-48, said Nigerian players were more equipped to play and succeed than their counterparts from Ghana.

“We have a long way to go in Ghana before we can be able to catch up with Nigeria. We lack the basics of the game in Ghana, but there seems to be everything in Nigeria,” he said.

Ocloo explained that sports started going down in Ghana with the return of democracy, lamenting that military dictatorships in the country backed sports development heavily.

“What we are suffering now is the lack of patronage from government,” Ocloo said.

As a step forward, Ocloo called on the revival of the Nigeria/Ghana Friendship Games. “This will go a long way in helping Ghana to recover,” he said.

Referring to the ABU/Legon match, Ocloo said his ladies played below expectation. “We were terrible in defence. Our defence was horrible and that was why we lost the match. We were weak and porous,” Ocloo said.

Legon had lost their first match of the Vmobile/WAUG to ABU at 61-46; they lost the second one to the University of Lagos at 65-16 and the third one to ABU at 72-48.

The championships, which are in the second edition, end today with the men's finals. The final match in the female category is the decider between the hosts and UNILAG inside ABU's New Gymnasium.

Fourteen institutions from five West African countries participated in the competition, which started last week here.

Apart from the hosts, Nigeria supplied nine other schools, while schools also came from Ghana, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Benin Republic.

The other Nigerian schools were Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ladoke Akintola, University of Port Harcourt, Bayero University and Ambrose Alli University. There were also Usman Dan Fodio University and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar won the inaugural title of the men's competition in Ghana in 2000, but Vmobile has just started its sponsorship with the second edition.

Vmobile sponsored the competition with N3m, while the Kano State Government undertook repairs of facilities for the tournament.

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