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Nigeria’s D’Tigers withdraws from 2025 AfroBasket qualifiers due to lack of funds

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Nigeria’s senior male basketball national team, D’Tigers, have withdrawn from the 2025 FIBA AfroBasket qualifiers dunking off in Tunisia on Friday due to lack of funds.

According to a press release by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), the “painful” withdrawal of the team from the window that could have given Nigeria another opportunity to qualify for the world championship was due to the inability of the Ministry of Sports to provide the federation with the needed funds for the qualifiers.

“In recent times, the female and male national basketball teams have not had the best in preparations for major continental and global championships, due to the perennial lack of funds,” the federation’s statement said.

“However, the financial burdens of ensuring national teams participate in these tournaments have been personally taken up by the President of NBBF, Engr. Musa Kida.

“While Kida, is yet to be refunded the billions of naira he has spent, the participation of the various national teams is in doubt as the federation is unable to raise more funds for the latest national assignment.

“The Ministry of Sports has not been able to come up with needed funds, citing lack of adequate funds to prosecute several other national engagements, including the forthcoming African Games holding in Accra, Ghana in March.

“The board of NBBF appeals to the ever-growing fans and lovers of the game in Nigeria and diaspora to understand the dire situation it found itself in view of the economic challenges faced by the country, even as it promised to redouble its efforts and commitments to the continued growth of the game in Nigeria.”

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Top European, Asian clubs on alert as Super Eagles keeper set to make contract decision

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Some top clubs in Europe and Asia have been put on alert as Super Eagles and Chippa United goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, is reportedly getting set to make a decision on his future as he will be a free agent at the end of this season.

Nwabali who led Nigeria to the finals of the 2023 Afcon before losing to host Cote d’Ivoire, has been a subject of transfer speculations in his last year at the South African club.

Shortly after the Afcon, there were rumours that the former Katsina United safe hands who joined Chippa United in 2022 was on the verge of teaming up with a club in Saudi Arabia in a deal that was reported to be worth millions of dollars but the speculations died down as there was no concrete for him.

However, after some excellent showings at club level since the continental championship, the 27-year-old shot-stopper’s value has continued to rise and with his contract running out at the end of the current season, some big clubs in Europe and Asia have indicated interest in signing him.

According to reports from South Africa’s Soccer Laduma, Nwabali will not sign an extension with Chippa United at the end of the season, potentially making him available on a free transfer.

“This would be particularly appealing to clubs like Kaizer Chiefs, Queens Park Rangers, Union SG, and Al Ettifaq, who have all been credited with a move for the Nigerian,” the sports journal said.

“While a move to Saudi Arabia might present better financial incentives, Nwabali is reportedly keen on testing his talents in Europe and a move to Union SG or QPR could end up being the best option for him.”

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Ethiopia’s Lemma, Kenya’s Obiri give Africa double podium finish at Boston Marathon

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Ethiopia’s long distance runner, Sisay Lemma, and Kenyan female marathon sensation, Hellen Obiri, teamed up to give Africa a double podium standing at the 128th Boston Marathon which ended on Tuesday.

The Africans completely dominated the race with Lemma emerging victorious in the men’s race while Obiri nicked it in the women’s version which also had a plethora of African stars who also stood out in the races.

In the men’s race, the 33-year-old Lemma finished in a time of 2:06:17 which was a sort of redemption for him after missing out on two previous editions of the Marathon due to injury.

His compatriot, Mohamed Esa, finished second while Kenyan Evans Chebet finished third, with only one non-African, American CJ Albertson who finished in 7th place, making the top 10.

Speaking after the race, Lemma said:

“Previously, I hadn’t finished this race, so I wanted to redeem myself, which is why I came. Fortunately, I was able to redeem myself, so I’m happy.

“My plan was to beat the course record, but the hills at the end really tired me out.

“The reason I ran in Boston is that the course is similar to the Olympic one, so I hope it will be good preparation for the Paris Games.”

In the women’s race, it was a Kenyan affair as Obiri came out on top in a time of 2:22:37 to retain her title in the American city.

She was followed by two of her compatriots, Sharon Lokedi, 2:22:45 and Edna Kiplagat, 2:23:21.

Men top five results:

1- Sisay Lemma (ETH) 2:06:17

2- Mohamed Esa (ETH) 2:06:58

3- Evans Chebet (KEN) 2:07:22

4- John Korir (KEN) 2:07:40

5- Albert Korir (KEN ) 2:07:47

Women top five results:

1- Hellen Obiri (KEN) 2:22:37

2- Sharon Lokedi (KEN) 2:22:45

3- Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:23:21

4- Buze Diriba (ETH) 2:24:04

5- Senbere Teferi (ETH ) 2:24:04

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