Union Bank Baskeball Club of Lagos, one of the two Nigerian male teams for the African Champions Clubs Cup zone three qualifiers, have promised to win one of the two slots at the qualifiers.
The qualifiers, which is for both the male and female categories, would hold in Monrovia, Liberia, from Oct. 7 to Oct. 15. The 2013 edition of the African Champions Clubs Cup, also for the male and female categories, is to hold later in the year in Tunisia.
Union Bank, the runners-up at the just-concluded DStv Final Four championships and the champions, Kano Pillars, are the two Nigerian male teams for the qualifiers.
Other countries in the zone that will also present two male teams each are the Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Togo and host, Liberia. Coach Ayinla Johnson of Union Bank told NAN in Lagos that his club had immediately resumed preparations, setting aside the frustrations suffered from losing the DStv championship tournament to Kano Pillars.
Johnson noted that early preparation was necessary because the qualifiers in Monrovia would not be an easy task.
“We resumed preparations for the qualifiers immediately after the DStv championships because our ultimate goal is to pick one of the two continental tickets in Monrovia. ‘Our target is not just to qualify but to also win the African Champions Clubs Cup in Tunisia later in the year,” Johnson added.
Union Bank will be looking at improving on their 4th position, their best record so far in the Clubs Cup held in 2005 in Cote d’Ivoire. However, no Nigerian male team has ever won the annual competition which started in 1972. The First Deepwater and Dolphins Clubs, both of Lagos, will represent Nigeria in the female event of the qualifiers, also holding in Monrovia.
First Deepwater and Dolphins qualified as champions and runners-up, respectively, of the 2013 Final Eight champions of the Zenith Bank Women League in Lagos.
The other countries for the female qualifiers who would also present two teams each are: the Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Togo and hosts, Liberia