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Ebonyi, Bayelsa Win 2017 Milo Basketball Competition For S/E, S/S; Qualify for Lagos Finals

From  Ignatius  Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Ebonyi and Bayelsa states have emerged winners  of the 19th edition of the Equatorial Conference of the 2017 secondary school Milo Basketball Championship.

While Ebonyi’s St. Augustine’s Seminary, Ezzamgbo defeated Bayelsa’s Belary Schools, Yenegoa, 31 – 20 in the male categories, to lift the trophy, which they presented  to the  team’s coach, Rev. Fr. Donatus Ofuluozor, including  a cheque of N100, 000.00 and Milo products, the female category was won by Bayelsa’s St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata, after defeating Imo’s Holy Rosary International College, Owerri, 22 – 5

African Examiner Sports, reports that the Bayelsa girls also smiled home with a trophy, cash prize of N100, 000.00 and Milo products, while the third place for male and female categories was won by Community Secondary School, Pabod, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State and Marist Comprehensive College, Nteje, Anambra State, respectively.

Currently in the Conference Stages, the 2017 Milo Basketball Championship had concluded the Central Conference in Abuja where nine States in the North participated and the Confluence Conference in Lokoja where another nine States in some parts of the North Central and some parts of the North participated, before the Equatorial Conference in Enugu began.

A total of nine States from the South East and South South  geo political zones of Nigeria participated in the 5 – day  Equatorial Conference, which includes, Enugu, Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Ebonyi, Imo and Anambra.

Speaking at the event which took place at the Indoor sports Hall of the Nnandi Azikiwe stadium  Enugu, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports in the state,  Charles Ndukwe,  commended Nestle Nigeria Plc, sponsors of the Milo Basketball Championship, for their commitment towards the development of grassroots sports in Nigeria.

Also in attendance was the Chairman of Enugu State Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB), Barr. Nestor Ezeme, who also hailed Nestle Milo for the consistent effort in the development of basketball in the country .

Coach of the winning Ebonyi team, who also doubles as the school’s principal, Rev. Fr. Ofuluozor, beamed with excitement as his team look forward to a worthwhile National Finals, which will be holding from 11th to 17th June 2017 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos.

Rev. Fr. Ofuluozor,  who is also a basketball player, said the annual Milo Basketball Championship has helped the students  to be  focus during training, adding  “I have to commend Milo for helping basketball teams in Nigeria to develop.

“The competition has helped my school in the development of basketball teams. Without the competition, maybe we would not have been this focused,” he said.

While St. Augustine’s Seminary, Ebonyi, produced the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the male category,  it would equally  be recalled that the school won the State Finals in 2005, the regional finals six times since 2010 before winning the 2017 edition,.

It also won the 3rd place at the National Finals in 2010,  2nd place at the National Finals in 2011, as well as the National Finals in 2012.

The MVP for the female category emerged from  St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata, just as the  school will be representing Bayelsa in the female category of the National Finals where they are looking forward to a great outing.

Sponsorship  of the event over the years, according to  Nestle PLC, is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility towards the development of sports in Nigeria and elsewhere.

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