First Bank basketball club starts early continental championship preparation

The head coach of the First Bank Basketball Club of Lagos, Aderemi Adewunmi, has defended his team’s early preparation for the Africa Club women championship qualifiers which will commence late 2014.

The camp at the ultra-modern Basketball hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, opened after the players were given about two months extended break after a hectic basketball season.

The coach, who masterminded a famous victory over Dolphins Basketball Club of Lagos in a pulsating final at the Indoor Sport Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, enroute the 2014 Championship, revealed to journalists on Tuesday that he did not wish to wait for FIBA’s letter before their preparations.

“We started our preparation from August 18 because we do not want to wait for FIBA Africa’s letter before we start getting ready as we actually dont know when the letter will be out. So, I decided we should start preparing for the tournament and we are still at it right now.

“We have a lot of young girls and we need to work all the year round to turn them into champions, so anytime the letter comes, we are ready to play,” he explained.

Asked whether the early preparation without any competitive match would not come around to haunt the team when the qualifiers started, Mr. Adewunmi responded that a big club like First Bank with a rich history in women basketball in Nigeria could not afford to joke with early and proper preparation.

“We have a tradition in First Bank Basketball club, we do not wait for official notifications before we start preparation. Even whenever we want to play the local league, we do not wait for the Nigeria Basketball Federation to announce the commencement of the tournament before we start.”

The 2013/2014 female league award winning coach was elusive on his club’s transfer policy.

He was quick to defend his players, who have been together for the past four seasons, saying, barring any unforeseen circumstances, he may not bring in new faces.

“It depends on what happens because I believe in the present set of players. We have been working for the past four years and they are ripe enough to do well at the continental championship, and if I want to come in with anybody, its not going to be more than two players but right now, I am not thinking of anybody.”


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